FINANCIAL BRIEFS

FINANCIAL BRIEFS

JAPANESE MINISTER

HOPES FOR STRONGER YENJapanese Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said Tuesday he hoped the yen would be strengthened in the medium to long term by the statement issued by the Group of 7 leading industrial nations Monday.

The Group of 7 statement said the current level of the yen against other major currencies might not be conducive to improvement in the balance of the world economy.

Despite the statement, the U.S. dollar opened in Tokyo Tuesday at 158.15 yen, up 0.35 from Monday's close.

SINGAPORE, INDONESIA

SIGN DOUBLE-TAX PACT

SINGAPORE - Singapore and Indonesia Tuesday signed a double-taxation agreement to help facilitate greater economic cooperation between the two countries.

The agreement should be useful to investors who wish to take part in the recently announced plans by the two governments to cooperate closely in developing Indonesia's Batam and Riau islands.

The agreement seeks to eliminate instances of double taxation and to promote greater cross-flow of trade, investment, technical know-how and expertise between the two countries.