The quarter share that Hong Kong had in the international renminbi market has fallen to 17% over the past two years, according to Swift’s latest RMB Tracker.
Hong Kong still accounts for 70% of the global RMB market by value, but London and Singapore are making up ground fast as the Chinese internationalises and global trade finance usage expands.
Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Seoul, Toronto, Sydney, Bangkok and Doha are some of the other countries battling for volume as RMB becomes an international currency on the back of China’s rapid growth.
“The use of RMB by more countries, beyond Hong Kong, is a good testimony of the internationalisation of the Chinese currency”, confirms Michael Moon, head of payments, Asia-Pacific, 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, underline its international use. This suggests the potential for future clearing centres and further development of the currency”.
In February 2015, the RMB actually fell back to position seven as a world payments currency with a share of 1.81%. This represents a decrease of 20.4% compared to last month, which Swift attributes to the seasonal effect of the Chinese New Year.
Payments across all currencies decreased in value by 9.3% in the same period, says Swift, which it speculates may be due to February being a shorter month.