Singapore continued to move ahead of London as the second largest offshore hub for transactions settled in renminbi in March, data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) showed.
Renminbi settlement in Singapore surged 3.75 times from a year ago last month, making the city number one in terms of renminbi payments, excluding China and Hong Kong.
Singapore made up 6.8 percent of the overall renminbi payment value, second behind Hong Kong’s 72.4 percent, with London ranking the third with its 5.9 percent share of the offshore market, SWIFT said.
The nearly quadruple growth in Singapore reflects the city’s ambition to become a key offshore center for the Chinese currency as well as growing trade between Singapore and China, said Law Ka-chung, chief economist and strategist at the Hong Kong branch of Bank of Communications Co. Ltd. (03328.HK).
However, it is unlikely for Singapore to overtake Hong Kong’s top spot any time soon, unless there are breakthroughs in non-trade renminbi business in the city state, such as in asset management and capital markets, Law said.
Yuan-denominated transactions worldwide climbed 29 percent in March from the previous month, strengthening the renminbi’s position as the No. 7 global payment currency with a new record-high activity share of 1.62 percent, compared with 1.42 percent in February.
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