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G20 finance chiefs in exchange rate pledge

Finance ministers and central bankers from the world's 20 leading industrial and developing countries on Saturday pledged not to target their exchange rates for competitive purposes. after the finance ministers of Britain, France and Germany said it was time for co-ordinated action to halt the practice of shifting profits from a firm’s home country to pay less tax under another jurisdiction.

Cash-strapped governments are seeking to use every means to inject new funds into their budgets and have run out of patience with big firms shifting profits to be registered in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

The two-day meeting in Moscow ended Saturday with a joint communique that included a promise that the G20 members would "refrain from competitive devaluation" and "resist all forms of protectionism and keep our markets open."

"We reiterate that excess volatility of financial flows and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability," the statement said.

Speaking at a news conference following the communique's signing, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that all the G20 nations agreed that they need to focus on delivering a strong economic growth rather than "manipulating the markets."

Several investors and politicians have been concerned by recent developments affecting the Japanese yen, which now trades near a three-year low. Japan is facing charges that it is trying first and foremost to lower the value of the yen to stimulate its economy and get the edge over other countries.

If too many countries try to weaken their currencies for economic gain — sparking a so-called "currency war" — the fragile global recovery could be derailed.

Saturday's G-20 communique, however, did not single out Japan or the effects of its actions.

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