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Roth says SNB has no euro rate target

Exporters are concerned at the franc's strength Keystone Archive

The chairman of the Swiss National Bank, Jean Pierre Roth, says the SNB is not targeting a specific exchange rate against the euro.

Exporters should be able to adapt to the franc’s strength, he says.

In an interview with the French language newspaper, Le Temps, Roth said that while the exchange rate played an important role in the central bank’s monetary decisions, it was not the only factor. He said it was not by changing the exchange rate by two centimes that the problems of Swiss exporters would be resolved.

He said the global slowdown was the real problem and added that Swiss exporters had the means to adjust to the competitive environment.

Roth’s comments come after his deputy, Bruno Gehrig, appeared to be trying to talk the franc’s rate down last week, saying that a stronger euro would be helpful to the Swiss economy. However, he too, stressed that the SNB did not set a particular exchange target.

Exporters and trade unions have become increasingly concerned about the exchange rate, and its effect in pushing up prices to the country’s biggest trading partner, Germany.

The franc has appreciated to around SFr1.48 against the euro in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Previously, it stood at around SFr1.53.

Its all time high against the single european currency is SFr1.4391.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR