RMB enters top five of world payments currencies
The yuan, or renminbi (RMB), now trails only the Japanese Yen, British pound, Euro and U.S. dollar as a global payments currency.
"The RMB breaking into the top five world payments currencies is an important milestone," said Wim Raymaekers, head of Banking Markets at Belgium-based SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).
"It is a great testimony to the internationalization of the RMB and confirms its transition from an 'emerging' to a 'business as usual' payment currency," he said.
SWIFT data showed that the RMB reached a record high share of 2.17 percent in global payments by value in December 2014 and now trails the Japanese Yen, which has a share of 2.69 percent.
Over the last year, RMB payments grew in value by 102 percent compared to overall yearly growth for all currencies of 4.4 percent, according to SWIFT.
China is moving steadily along the path of RMB internationalization, following a strategy described as "crossing the river by feeling the stones." So far 12 cities, including Hong Kong, London, Paris and Sydney, have officially announced the establishment of offshore RMB centers.
Commentary: RMB internationalization benefits whole world
BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The internationalization process of China's currency has made a new stride forward during the ongoing World Economic Forum annual meeting, with Beijing and Bern inking a deal to expand financial cooperation.
Under the agreement, signed Wednesday in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, China gives Switzerland an 8-billion-U.S.-dollar investment quota under its Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program, and the two sides plan to open a Chinese bank in Zurich for future RMB clearance. Full story
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