HONG KONG, March 27 Taiwan, a latecomer in
developing offshore yuan business, has overtaken the United
States and Australia to be ranked fourth in payments using the
Chinese currency, or renminbi (RMB), said global transaction
services organisation SWIFT.
RMB payments made by Taiwan grew by 120 percent in the past
six months and nearly 44 percent of all payments made between
Taiwan and China/Hong Kong are now exchanged in RMB.
The island now trails behind the United Kingdom, Singapore
and France in terms of RMB payments, excluding Hong Kong and
China, said SWIFT.
"These are not surprising growth figures given the historic
and increasing level of direct activity between the Chinese
mainland and Taiwan," Lisa O'Connor, RMB Director at SWIFT, said
in a statement.
Six months ago, Taiwan was ranked seventh out of 131
countries/regions exchanging RMB payments worldwide, with 24
percent of all payments between Taiwan and China/Hong Kong made
Business in offshore yuan took off after a yuan clearing
bank was assigned to Taiwan in late January, leading local
financial institutions to compete fiercely to attract yuan
deposits and launch yuan products.
Chinatrust Financial, Taiwan's top credit card
issuer, successfully issued the first yuan bond in the island
and Deutsche Bank is now in the market to sell a
two-tranche yuan bond.
Taiwan's financial regulator has also given permission for
Fuh Hwa Securities Investment Trust to set up the first yuan
denominated mutual fund which will raise up to 20 billion yuan
($3.22 billion), two sources told Reuters on Monday.
China's policies are favorable to Taiwan's yuan business.
Schemes such as Renminbi Foreign Direct Investment (RMB FDI) and
Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII), which took
years to launch after Hong Kong's yuan market came into being,
are available for Taiwan investors from the beginning.
The world's second-largest economy has stepped up efforts to
make the yuan more widely accepted by global investors and
corporates, aiming to make its currency fully convertible in the
coming years and on a par with the dollar.
The yuan was ranked the 14th most widely used world payments
currency in February, a position down from a month earlier,
according to SWIFT.