FINANCIAL BRIEFS

FINANCIAL BRIEFS

Panama Says It Plans

To Print Own MoneyCARACAS, Venezuela - Panama will begin printing its own money to break its dependence on the United States for its currency, Panama's ambassador to Venezuela said Friday.

Marcel Salamin called for an emergency meeting of the Latin American Economic System council to analyze Panama's financial crisis, which followed a U.S. decision to freeze Panamanian assets in U.S. banks.

Panama will begin issuing paper money as soon as possible, a government statement said, adding that the country's lack of national currency has undermined and impeded the exercise of full national sovereignty over our territory, natural resources and economy.

Hong Kong Stock Mart

Plans Reforms Soon

NEW YORK - The Hong Kong Stock Exchange won't wait until May for a study commissioned by the government on the October stock market collapse to put reforms into effect, Robert Fell, chief executive of the exchange, said.

He told the Hong Kong Association of New York the exchange will soon make changes in the key areas of securities listings in the market and of market surveillance. He said the exchange is taking steps prior to the release of the government inquiry because we know better than most where our weaknesses were and what needs to be strengthened.

Beginning April 1, he said, the exchange will beef up its staff in key divisions in order to handle any repeat of last October, when the exchange

closed for four days to avoid a further collapse in prices.

Franco-German Council

Meets in Bonn Today

FRANKFURT, West Germany - The Franco-German economic council meets today in Bonn for the first of its planned regularly quarterly consultations on bilateral economic cooperation.

West German Finance Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg and his French counterpart Edouard Balladur will discuss the two countries' economic prospects and current and next fiscal year budgets in three hours of talks, Finance Ministry officials said.

The two will also discuss bilateral financial and monetary policy cooperation, officials said.

IMF Approves Funds

For Argentine Purchase

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund approved a purchase equivalent to 233.15 million special drawing rights ($320 million) by Argentina under the compensatory financing facility, due to an export shortfall during 1987.

The shortfall largely reflects lower export earnings from cereals and oilseeds due to the adverse impact of heavy rains and flooding on export production and to lower world market prices.

Futures Compromise

Reached in Japan

TOKYO - The Japanese government adopted a compromise financial futures bill to be discussed by the Parliament in the next few months.

Under provisions of the bill, new markets would be introduced for interest rate and currency-based financial instruments, as well as futures and options on stocks and bonds.

Securities firms, which do not have access to the spot foreign exchange market, will not be able to trade currency options directly. Banks will be denied direct access to stock-index futures, as they are prohibited from dealing in stocks.