HONG KONG Jan 8 International payments in
China's yuan surged 24 percent in November from the month before
and reached a record 0.56 percent of the global total, global
transaction services organisation SWIFT said, as China moves to
internationalise its currency.
The increased use of the yuan, compared with an average
decrease of 7 percent in worldwide use of all currencies during
the period, nudged the yuan up two positions to the world's 14th
most widely used currency, SWIFT said in a report on Tuesday.
Beijing has been promoting the wider use of its currency
globally through bilateral currency swaps and trade settlement
deals, aiming for the "redback" eventually to match China's
overall status as the world's second-largest economy.
Widespread use remains severely curbed by strict capital
controls, although analysts say China is planning to make the
yuan, also known as the renminbi (RMB), basically convertible as
early as 2015.
Yuan inflows to China increased as a proportion of total
transactions, partly due to easing expectations of yuan
appreciation. The currency actually fell against the dollar in
the first half of last year.
"While initially mainly driven by RMB outflows, the RMB
inflows are now nearly as important," the SWIFT report said.
Inflows to China accounted for 47 percent of yuan-based
global payments last November, compared with only 23 percent a
year earlier, SWIFT said.
Countries with close trade ties to China have been at the
forefront of adopting the yuan for global transactions, since it
reduces both costs and currency risks for corporations.
Australia, which sells a major portion of its natural
resources to China, shot up to number four in yuan payments in
November, compared with ninth place a year earlier, SWIFT said.
(Reporting by Michelle Chen; Editing by Edmund Klamann)