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RMB deposits in Singapore at around 60 bln yuan: C. Bank

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SINGAPORE, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The pool of renminbi deposits in Singapore has grown to about 60 billion yuan (9.4 billion U.S. dollars), a senior official of Singapore's central bank said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a forum on the Chinese currency here, Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said that he expected the renminbi deposits to go for offshore investment products.

Singapore can provide renminbi financing needs, he said, citing the renminbi debt issuances by Global Logistics Properties and Singamas.

"I firmly believe that Singapore will clearly play a role as the renminbi internationalizes," he said.

Singapore's central bank is one of the 17 central banks that have bilateral swap agreements with the People's Bank of China. It received 30 billion U.S. dollars of currency swap line last year.

Banks in Singapore have also launched RMB products over the past two years, and some banks offer access to offshore renminbi products in Hong Kong of China. The debate over whether Singapore would become the next offshore yuan center has been making headlines in local newspapers, though it has not been confirmed.

Ong said there are more than 4,000 Chinese companies operating in Singapore and 140 of them are listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Cao Yuanzheng, chief economist of the Bank of China International Holdings Limited, said at the forum that the international use of the renminbi is a result of the need for it to be used that way.

China has never been seeking for the renminbi to be an international reserve currency, and its going international is just closely related with China's economic reforms and the need for it to help China's economic development, Cao said.

An international renminbi is just a sign of the diversification of the international monetary system and will help reduce the world's reliance on the U.S. dollar, Cao said.

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