Singapore Overtakes London as Largest Yuan Clearing Center

Singapore has overtaken London as the largest clearing center for China’s domestic currency outside of China and Hong Kong, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

Data released by the SWIFT show the value of Singapore’s renminbi payments increased by 375 percent between March 2014 and March 2013, making Singapore number one in terms of renminbi payments value, excluding China and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong accounts for 72.4 percent of the overall renminbi payments value, while Singapore and London account for 6.8 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively.

Singapore reclaimed the top position from London for the first time since June 2012, when the U.K. capital overtook the city-state’s leading position.

The substantial rise in renminbi trades cleared in Singapore follows China’s decision to name Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore’s official yuan clearing bank in February.

“Ever since last year’s nomination of ICBC as a clearing bank in Singapore, we have been expecting the Singapore renminbi payments flows to accelerate, especially as Chinese companies use it as a hub to reach ASEAN countries,” said Claus Kwon, head of securities markets, Asia Pacific, at SWIFT.


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza