By John S. McClenahen Next Jan. 1, the euro will truly become the common currency in 12 of the European Union's 15 countries. Now being used by banks and many businesses, euro coins and bills will begin to replace French francs, among other national currencies. And Arnaud de Bresson, the managing director of Europlace, which promotes the French financial community, believes the common currency will boost the attractiveness of European financial and industrial markets. "It's one step more toward the creation of a [true] single market, with less frontiers and more mobility -- and [increased] consumption and growth," he states. More mergers and joint ventures seem to be in the offing, with de Bresson saying he foresees increased "possibilities" for foreign and European corporations "to make operations together on a larger scale."