India, Iraq to discuss rupee payments for trade, says minister

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The Indian government will discuss with Iraq the possibility of settling trade payments in the rupee currency, the trade minister said, in a move that will also help stabilize the troubled currency.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is visiting India to finalize a deal to sell India more crude oil.

“Yes, we will discuss how to use our national currencies,” India’s Trade Minister Anand Sharma told reporters in response to a question on whether India was considering making rupee payments to Iraq.

The Indian currency, which has lost 17 percent since May, is leading a global selloff in emerging market currencies on fears of higher borrowing costs and tighter supplies of cheap cash from the United States.

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