Arab states held secret meetings with finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil in a plot to end the pricing of oil in dollars, a move that would likely stoke tensions between superpowers China and the U.S., according to a bombshell report in Britain’s Independent newspaper.
Top officials from Saudi Arabia and Russia denied the report.
Anonymous Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources told the paper that countries planned to create a basket of currencies to replace the current system within nine years. The basket would include the Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new currency currently being planned by Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.
"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions," one Chinese banker told the Independent. "America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."
Saudi central bank governor Muhammad al-Jasser did just that early Tuesday, dismissing the report as "absolutely incorrect," according to Reuters. In the markets, Jassrer’s denial sent the dollar back up against the euro and yen after its earlier fall when news of the secret meetings first broke.