HONG KONG, April 28 Singapore has surpassed
London to rank second globally as a clearing center for the
Chinese currency, after the world's top bank was set up to clear
payments in the city-state last year, global transaction
services organisation SWIFT said on Monday.
Hong Kong is the busiest clearing centre for the yuan, also
known as the renminbi.
The value of Singapore's yuan payments in March rose 375
percent from a year earlier, taking up 6.8 percent of the
overall renminbi payments. That compared with 72.8 percent for
Hong Kong and 5.9 percent for London, SWIFT said.
London overtook Singapore in June 2012, but since February
2014 has slipped behind the city-state. That has been in spite
of growing 203 percent in March from the previous year, SWIFT
"Ever since last year's nomination of ICBC as a clearing
bank in Singapore, we have been expecting the Singapore RMB
payment flows to accelerate, especially as Chinese companies use
it as a hub to reach ASEAN countries," said Claus Kwon, SWIFT's
Asia Pacific head of securities markets.
"We are now anticipating securities traffic to ramp up as
well," Kwon added.
China named Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
, the world's biggest bank, as the clearing
bank for offshore yuan business in Singapore last February.
The total clearing amount exceeded 10 trillion yuan ($1.60
trillion) as of April 8, and the peak daily clearing volume
reached nearly 300 billion yuan, according to the bank's data.
Competition among offshore yuan centers is intensifying as
European cities strive to set up their own yuan clearing banks
to facilitate trade transactions and investments.
Britain and Germany both signed agreements with China in
March to set up a clearing service for renminbi trading, in the
race to capture a share of the fast-growing Chinese foreign
Yuan payments rose in value by 29 percent in March from a
month earlier and gained one place to seventh position as a
global payments currency with a market share of 1.62 percent, up
from 1.42 percent in February, SWIFT said.
The yuan's payments value lagged the Canadian dollar at 1.83
percent and the Australian dollar at 1.84 percent.
($1 = 6.2536 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Michelle Chen; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)