S.Korea aims to launch yuan/won trading this year - official

SEOUL, June 18 Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:36am EDT

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SEOUL, June 18 (Reuters) - South Korea aims to launch trading of the yuan/won pair this year, a senior government official said on Wednesday, which will likely boost trade with China while helping Seoul prepare for the yuan's emergence as a major currency in the future.

"We hope that (the direct trading of the pair) will contribute to increasing trade and investment," Choi Hee-nam, head of the finance ministry's international finance bureau, said by telephone. "We are making preparation with the aim of beginning it within this year."

Bilateral trade between the two neighbouring countries has soared to $229 billion by 2013 from just $6 billion in 1992, when they established full diplomatic relations, but more than 99 percent of the deals are paid in the U.S. dollar, he said.

Both the yuan and won are not fully convertible globally and companies use the dollar as the main currency in doing business with each other. (Reporting by Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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