Chinese Yuan Shows Strong Momentum Reaching #4 As An International Payments Currency

SWIFT's RMB Tracker shows the currency has entered the top four of world payment currencies by value in August 2015, overtaking the Japanese Yen and reaching a record high share of 2.79% in global payments.

In the last three years, the RMB has overtaken seven currencies rising from position number 12 with a share of 0.84% in August 2012. The currency has also further established itself as the dominant currency for trade finance behind the USD.

With Sibos taking place in Singapore, the top RMB clearing center after Hong Kong, SWIFT has produced a special edition of the RMB Tracker which provides an updated and consolidated overview of the Renminbi's rise as an international currency. Combined with SWIFT's insights, the report also contains commentary from financial industry experts reflecting on the evolution of the RMB and how its use will develop moving forward.

Highlights of the Sibos special edition RMB Tracker report include:

  • Number one for Asia Pacific intra-regional payments with China and Hong Kong
  • Number four as an international payments currency by value
  • Singapore remains the number one clearing center for RMB after Hong Kong
  • 1,134 banks use RMB for payments with China and Hong Kong
  • Number two for global issuance of Letters of Credit by value
"With Sibos taking place in Singapore next week, it is the perfect time to take a detailed look at the internationalization of RMB usage", says Michael Moon, Head of Payments, Asia Pacific, SWIFT. "The Special Edition RMB Tracker report confirms that 2015 has seen a big shift in the RMB becoming a "business as usual" payment currency. The use of additional offshore clearing centers outside of Hong Kong has played a key role in driving RMB adoption, with most showing impressive growth in volume.


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