* Official hopes FX question concluded with G7 statement
* Germany will push for structural reforms in Moscow
* Financial market regulation not gone far enough yet
By Annika Breidthardt
BERLIN, Feb 13 The Group of 20 industrialised
nations should endorse market and not politically driven
exchange rates in line with the position held by its G7 members,
a German government official said on Wednesday.
The Group of Seven powers said on Tuesday fiscal and
monetary policies would not be directed at devaluing currencies,
a statement meant to soothe nerves that Japan was aiming to
guide the yen lower with aggressive expansion of monetary
"I'm very glad that we have hopefully concluded the question
of exchange rates for now and preliminarily with a new G7
statement ... which all G7 members accepted and I hope the G20
will also accept," the official told reporters.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Moscow on
Friday and Saturday and sources said it was unclear whether they
would issue a fresh statement on currencies, refer to their
November 2012 statement or simply mention foreign exchange in
their final communique.
France has called for coordinated action to counter the
euro's strength and avoid damaging an economic recovery, but got
a cool response, with policymakers stressing instead that
countries should focus on boosting their competitiveness.
"Exchange rate discussions must not lead to states
neglecting structural reforms. We will continue to urge to see
more structural reforms in the euro zone, in Europe and on a
global basis," the official said, speaking on condition of
FREE PASS FOR TOKYO?
The G7 statement was muddled on Tuesday by contradictory
comments about whether it gave Tokyo a free pass to pursue
policies that weaken the yen. One source said that was due to
irritation with Tokyo for rushing out its own interpretation.
The German official said Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble
would also push for a follow-up framework to the Toronto goals
of halving public deficits by 2013 and stabilising debt levels
by 2016 even though some members would not fulfil the 2013 goal.
"We believe strongly ... that from a certain level of debt,
there can be no new growth as then there is no trust that states
can pay back their debt. So it's right that we start discussions
on what comes after Toronto," the German official said.
Germany also wanted discussion on introducing medium-term
targets for G20 nations, such as balanced budgets by 2020.
Berlin is hoping it will get support on these goals from
Russia, which holds the G20 presidency and may want to leave a
mark with Toronto II goals or St. Petersburg goals, named after
the location of the G20 summit in September.
Other topics where Germany hoped for progress included an
international introduction of collective action clauses on
sovereign debt and financial market regulation.
"Financial market regulation is not concluded," the official
said. "The minister has said on several occasions that he is not
content with all developments."
Unsatisfied with the speed of international implementation,
Germany has pushed ahead with its own plans to reform its
banking system, even though the country may need to adjust once
the European Union follows suit.