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Lithuania to Join the Euro

Lithuania will be joining the euro, effective 1 January 2015.

The country, whose population is just under 3 million, will be the 19th country to adopt the euro and one of three former Soviet Baltic states to take up the common currency.

Estonia and Latvia are both already members of the Eurozone.

The European Council said that the exchange rate at which Lithuania's currency will convert to the euro is set at 3.45 Lithuanian litas to the euro.

The country's accession to the euro will also mark a procedural change at the European Central Bank.

Currently all members of the central bank's policy-setting Governing Council have had a vote on policy.

This will change next year when voting rights will become divided according to the size of countries.

The largest five countries will share four votes, while the smaller 14 countries will share 11 votes.

Swiss and Chinese Central Banks Sign Currency Swap Deal

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the People’s Bank of China have reached a currency swap agreement allowing the two banks to buy and sell their currencies up to a limit of $23.4 billion.

“This will allow liquidity in renminbi and Swiss francs to be made available to the relevant markets as required. The swap agreement is a key requisite for the development of a renminbi market in Switzerland,” the SNB says.

The deal will also allow the SNB to buy up to CHF2 billion worth of Chinese bonds, enabling it to diversify its foreign exchange reserves which are currently thought to be close to CHF450 billion.

The agreement between China and Switzerland has a term of three years and can be renewed after this date.

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