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RMB becomes new international currency: HK financial secretary

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HONG KONG, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John C Tsang said Monday that Renminbi (the Chinese yuan) has become a new international currency.

"We are now witnessing the birth of the Renminbi as a new international currency. In 2011, Renminbi deposits in Hong Kong almost doubled to around 630 billion RMB (about 100 billion U.S. dollars)," Tsang said at the cocktail reception of the fifth Asian Financial Forum opened Monday.

"Total Renminbi trade settlement handled by Hong Kong banks since its inception in 2009 now exceeds 2 trillion RMB. And the value of Renminbi bond issuance in Hong Kong last year was three times that of 2010," he continued.

Tsang also noted that Hong Kong still led the world in IPO funds raised for the third year in a row, with the total IPO funds raised reaching 36 billion U.S. dollars. The nature and origin of new listed companies reflected Hong Kong's concerted efforts to diversify and internationalize the Hong Kong stock market.

The two-day Asian Financial Forum, which brought together some 2,000 influential financial players and business leaders from around the world, opened Monday to explore the growing opportunities in Asia.

The forum, co-organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, focuses on the global economic outlook and Asia's contribution to sustainable growth. Participants discuss the issues concerning the European debt crisis and the shift of economic gravity from the West to the East. (1 U.S. dollars equals 6.3 RMB) Enditem

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