UPDATE 3-Forex, financial reform set to feature on G7 agenda

* Finmin Kan: Stable China growth desirable for Japan

* Kan says expects frank G7 debate instead of document

* French official: forex part of wider discussion

* Canada says don’t expect to-do lists
(Adds comments by Canadian official)

By Tamora Vidaillet and Leika Kihara

PARIS/TOKYO, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Financial reforms will top
the agenda as finance officials from the world’s richest
countries meet in the Canadian Arctic this week, but the group
has no plans to offer a market-friendly summary of their
discussions, which will also touch on foreign exchange.

Officials from several Group of Seven industrial nations
insisted on Tuesday that the meeting will be more low-key than
previous such events, with no formal communique like the ones
that steered market expectations in the past.

Currency issues, including the strong Chinese yuan, could
be discussed within the broader context of balanced global
growth, and alongside talk about how to cement the recovery
from recession around the world.

Financial sector reform discussions will look at proposals
from U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as the roles of
international institutions that already exist.

Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan said in Tokyo that
ministers could bring up the yuan, which many countries have
said is undervalued, giving China an unfair export advantage.

Tokyo believes that a more flexible yuan is desirable but
has been more reluctant than its G7 peers to criticize China,
arguing that pressure on Beijing won’t work.

“We’ll deal with this issue based on our understanding that
stable economic growth in China is desirable for Japan,” Kan
told a news conference.

Kan, who took over as finance minister last month, has
promised to would watch any G7 debate on the yuan closely as it
could affect Japan’s economy, which is heavily reliant on
exports to fast-growing Asian nations like China.

The G7 has little leverage with China, which sits at the
larger G20 table of industrial and emerging powers.


The ministers are meeting in Iqaluit, a remote community
that’s less than 300 km (200 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.
A lack of hotel rooms is forcing countries to bring smaller
delegations, and bitterly cold weather is likely to keep
delegates inside most of the time.

A French official said the G7 countries would not get
bogged down in negotiating an all-embracing communique like
those traditionally issued at the close of G7 meetings,
although statements on specific issues were possible.

“The idea…is to have deep discussions in a tight
group…and which allows us, to a certain extent, not to be
hostage to what would be said publicly,” the official said.

There will be no list of actions for the G7 to follow
through on, a senior Canadian official said in Ottawa.

The role of the G7 has become more nebulous in light of the
far greater stress on the broader G20, which includes leading
emerging markets as well as the G7 itself.

The Canadian official said delegates would discuss the
future role of the seven-nation group amid speculation that the
number of meetings could be reduced. The official said the G7
does not compete with the G20, and does not consider itself a
lobbying bloc within the larger group.

Kan said banking reforms unveiled by President Barack Obama
would also feature on the G7 agenda.

“We’re also likely to talk about the global economy, which
has recovered from the Lehman shock, but has left many
countries with fiscal burdens,” he said.

Stock Market Advice

(Additional reporting by Stanley White, Brian Love and Louise
Egan; editing by Janet Guttsman and Jeffrey Hodgson)

UPDATE 3-Forex, financial reform set to feature on G7 agenda