Singapore has a competitive edge in the development of renminbi-denominated products from commodities to real estate investment funds, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday, citing DBS Bank Ltd. treasury and markets head Andrew Ng.
Given the growth in bilateral trade between China and the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Singapore is well-placed to surpass London as the second-biggest offshore hub for payments in the Chinese currency, Ng said, adding that RMB trade settlement is likely to keep expanding in the city.
But, Ng said, it will take a long time for the Lion City to take the top spot from Hong Kong, which accounted for 72.4 percent of RMB payment activity in March, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Singapore claimed 6.8 percent of the total that month, outperforming London.
Advances in the through train that lets individuals in Hong Kong and the mainland make cross-border stock investments are tipped to boost foreign exchange and securities transactions in the city.
Despite a downturn in the RMB exchange rate, Ng said the movement is unlikely to become a trend because there is real economic demand for the currency.
The drop was partially attributed to hedge fund speculation, Ng said, adding that it could be a good level to buy the RMB when it falls to 6.25 to the US dollar. Ng projected that the Chinese currency could rebound to 6.07 by the end of this year.
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