RMB becomes 13th most traded payment currency, with payments up 171% YoY
28 February 2013
News, China, Global
By Asia Asset Management
According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication’s (Swift’s) latest RMB tracker, the RMB is continuing its ascension toward becoming a major international payments currency. In December 2012, the currency was larger than the Danish krone, South African rand and New Zealand dollar and has now overtaken the Russian rouble to become the 13th most traded world payments currency.
RMB payments grew in value by 171% between January 2012 and January 2013. The last month alone saw a 24% increase, versus 13% across all currencies, propelling it to an all-time high market share of 0.63%. In the same year, the rouble grew by just 18% and lost 5.4% in the last month, making it drop to 0.56% market share.
“We’ll have to see if the drop in rouble is systemic,” said Lisa O’Connor – global RMB director at SWIFT, “but it is clear that offshore centres like Hong Kong, London and Singapore are fuelling RMB payments. RMB payments in Singapore grew by 123% year-on-year and by 33% in the last month. The recent appointment of ICBC as the RMB clearing bank in Singapore can only support that. Given the acceleration of RMB payments it will be interesting to see if the RMB displaces the THB in coming months.”
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