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India Prefers Use of UAE Dirham in Foreign Trade Settlement

India Prefers Use of UAE Dirham in Foreign Trade Settlement

Tuesday, 14 March, 2023 - 06:15
A general view of residential apartments is pictured at Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma/Files

India has asked banks and traders to avoid using Chinese yuan to pay for Russian imports, three government officials involved in policy making and two banking sources said, because of long-running political differences with its neighbor.

India, which has emerged as a top buyer of Russian oil as well as discounted coal, would prefer the use of United Arab Emirates dirhams to settle trade, three government officials said.

One of the government officials directly involved in the matter said New Delhi is "not comfortable" with foreign trade settled in yuan but said settlement in "dirham is okay."

The second official said that India cannot allow settlement in yuan till the relations between the two countries improve.

For Indian refiners that in recent weeks started settling some Russian oil purchases in roubles, as Reuters reported, payments have been processed in part by the State Bank of India via its nostro roubles account in Russia.

But the bulk of the trade is still in other currencies as the rouble is partially convertible and the two countries are yet to finalize a framework.

All five officials declined to be named as discussions were private.

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