Singapore Overtakes London as Renminbi Offshore Clearing Centre

Singapore has regained its place as world’s top renminbi (RMB) offshore clearing centre after Hong Kong, after being temporarily displaced by London.

Data from financial messaging services provider SWIFT shows that Singapore’s RMB payments value increased by 375% between March 2013 and March 2014, making Singapore number one in terms of RMB world payments value, excluding China and Hong Kong.

Singapore’s weight represents 6.8% of the overall RMB payments value, second behind Hong Kong, which still leads with 72.4%.

London overtook Singapore in June 2012, but since February this year it has slipped behind Singapore despite a good growth rate of 203% year-over-year from 2013. London now carries the weight of 5.9%.

“Singapore’s impressive growth as a RMB clearing centre, since it gained clearing status in May, shows its evolution as a vital hub for global as well as South-East Asian RMB business,” said Tom Halpin, global head of clearing and foreign currency payments at HSBC.

“It is particularly interesting to note the increase in the share of payments coming from markets outside China and Hong Kong, as new businesses discover the advantages of making cross border payments in RMB.

“Singapore’s rise bodes well for both London and Frankfurt after confirmation that RMB clearing centres will be established in both cities. The rate of increase in payments activity by businesses and financial institutions shows the currency becoming an increasingly important part of international commerce. This is just the beginning of a very exciting new era in global trade.”

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