HONG KONG Jan 28 China's yuan broke into the
top five as a world payment currency in November, overtaking the
Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, global transaction
services organisation SWIFT said on Wednesday.
After nearly a year firmly positioned at seventh spot, the
yuan reached a record high share of 2.17 percent in global
payments by value and is in sight of the Japanese yen, which has
a share of 2.69 percent.
The U.S. dollar, euro and British pound remain the top three
world payment currencies.
"It is a great testimony to the internationalisation of the
RMB and confirms its transition from an 'emerging' to a
'business as usual' payment currency," Wim Raymaekers, Head of
Banking Markets at SWIFT said in a statement.
The rise of various offshore yuan clearing centres around
the world, including eight new agreements signed with the
People's Bank of China last year, was an important driver
fuelling this growth.
Global yuan payments increased by 20.3 percent in value in
December compared to a year earlier, while the growth for
payments across all currencies was 14.9 percent for the same
period, SWIFT said.
Over the last year, yuan payments grew in value by 102
percent compared to an overall yearly growth for all currencies
of 4.4 percent.
China is expected to make another push for the inclusion of
the yuan in the International Monetary Fund's in-house currency
basket in a review later this year - and this time round its G20
partners may be willing to listen.
The main argument against its inclusion in the Special
Drawing Rights, a basket of yen, dollars, pounds and euro used
as the IMF's in-house unit of account, is that the yuan is far
from freely "usable" or convertible. But that argument has been
gradually weakening as yuan offshore trading surges.
(Reporting by Michelle Chen; Editing by Kim Coghill)