IBM Corp is to take longer than many of its fellow European companies in its preparations for EMU European economic and monetary union, according to the Financial Times. While such companies as Philips NV, Siemens AG and Daimler Benz are all planning to convert to the euro currency in 1999, IBM says it will wait until January 2001 to complete its conversion. One of the reasons for the delay is the computer industry’s Year 2000 conversion. Companies have the option of making the switch any time between 1999 and 2001, a period when the euro will co-exist with national currencies. IBM says that up to 80% of its IT applications will be affected. Large companies could face costs of up to $50bn in EMU transition costs, with an average of $30m per company, according to a KPMG Management Consulting report published earlier this week.
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