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PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 February, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 February, 1999, 12:00am

'I don't believe that size is the most important determinant in success. Fat people are known to attract more illnesses than slim ones.' Overseas Union Bank president and chief executive Peter Seah.

'Both local and foreign investors were not deterred from investing in the country despite the economic turmoil and . . . selective exchange controls,' Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz. Investments dropped 12 per cent last year.

'As you can see, there is no effect. The sacking of one person does not matter.' Ms Rafidah again, on the sacking of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

'China, as a responsible country, is ready to sacrifice its interests and will never shift troubles on to its neighbouring countries.' Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao, explaining why the mainland will not devalue its currency this year.

'There are 50 futures exchanges across the world, that is too many. Many of them are too small, too slow and too expensive. Many will wither on the vine.' Hong Kong futures exchange chief executive Randy Gilmore.

'I maintain that any exchange-rate mechanism is bound to be flawed. There is no perfect exchange-rate mechanism. It is like the matrimonial system: whatever is preferred, the alternative looks better.' International financier George Soros.

'We are working for economic growth without burdening our people and forcing ourselves to always have recourse to world banks which impose conditions we do not accept. We will live without accepting favours from anyone and without being tied to world banks like other countries who are suffering today from their interference in their internal policies.' Saudi Arabia's Defence Minister Prince Abdallah bin Abdel Aziz.

'We cannot afford to have a situation where someone pushes a button and millions of dollars leave a country.' Indian Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.

'It is arrant nonsense talked by people who have not looked at the programmes that the IMF has prepared. It is an outrage and an offence to be told things that are patently not true.' IMF deputy managing director Stanley Fischer, on critics who say the IMF fails to take social impact into consideration.

'You shouldn't confuse George Soros with (new Brazilian central bank president) Arminio Fraga. He has independent ideas that sometimes coincide with Soros but at other times differ radically.' Goldman Sachs' director of emerging markets in New York, Paulo Leme.

'I can't serve for another six years. I'm already old and have been serving the central bank for more than 40 years.' Philippine central bank governor Gabriel Singson.

'We are living in very good economic times.' Australian Prime Minister John Howard.