International RMB usage powers ahead beyond Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s share of the international Renminbi market has fallen over the past two years as other countries increase their share, which now stands at 25% compared to 17% in February 2013
While Hong Kong still has more than 70% of the market by value according to the latest figures from Swift, Singapore and London have played a key role in driving RMB adoption outside Hong Kong.
In the last few months, there has also been acceleration in RMB usage with the emergence of other offshore RMB clearing centres worldwide, including Bangkok, Doha, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Luxembourg, Paris, Seoul, Toronto and more recently Sydney. They represent the largest share of offshore countries, excluding Hong Kong, using RMB for payments, according to Swift.
“The use of RMB by more countries, beyond Hong Kong, is a good testimony of the internationalisation of the Chinese currency”, says Michael Moon, head of payments Asia-Pacific at Swift. “The global volume of payments in RMB will fluctuate, and is actually down by value compared to last month, but the broader support by more countries beyond Hong Kong, underlining its international use, suggests the potential for future clearing centres and further development of the currency”.
Swift’s figures also show that in February 2015, the RMB fell back to seventh place as a world payments currency with a share of 1.81%. This represents a decrease of 20.4% compared to the previous month, which is Swift attributes to the seasonal effect of the Chinese New Year and the fact that February being a shorter month.