SWIFT’s latest RMB Tracker shows that 57 countries have crossed the 10% RMB threshold
Brussels, 27 October 2016 – The latest RMB Tracker shows that during the last two years (October 2014 – September 2016), seven new countries are now using the RMB for more than 10% of their direct payments by value with China and Hong Kong, bringing the total to 57 countries worldwide. The 10% milestone, also known as ‘crossing the RMB river’, is a threshold set by SWIFT to measure the adoption of RMB payments by value with China and Hong Kong compared to other currencies. Among the 101 countries using the RMB for payments, the weight of these payments by value reached 12.9%, giving the currency a nearly 2% increase since October 2014 (11.2%).
Although seven more countries are “crossing the RMB river” than in October 2014, these new nations are – with the exception of Spain – smaller trade partners for China, like Bolivia, Colombia, Mozambique, Namibia, Kuwait and Georgia.
“Over the last two years, we have witnessed a continued increase in RMB usage for direct payments with China and Hong Kong, with most of the growth coming from early adopters and main RMB clearing centres, such as Singapore, the United Kingdom and South Korea,” says Astrid Thorsen, Head of Business Intelligence Solutions, SWIFT. “On the other hand, two of the largest economies in the world and important trade partners with China, United States and Japan, still show low RMB adoption. The latest announcement related to the appointment of the first RMB clearing centre in the United States should positively impact the country’s RMB usage.”
Overall, the RMB kept its position as the fifth most active currency for global payments by value, with an increased share of 2.03%, compared to 1.86% last month. In September 2016, the value of RMB global payments value increased by 10.02% compared to August 2016, which is higher than the average growth of 0.93% for all currencies.
About SWIFT and RMB Internationalisation
Since 2010, SWIFT has actively supported its customers and the financial industry regarding RMB internationalisation through various publications and reports. Through its Business Intelligence Solutions team, SWIFT publishes key adoption statistics in the RMB Tracker, insights on the implications of RMB internationalisation, perspectives on RMB clearing and offshore clearing guidelines, supports bank’s commercial RMB product launches and provides in-depth analysis and business intelligence, as well as engaging with offshore clearing centres and the Chinese financial community to support the further internationalisation of the RMB.
The SWIFT network fully supports global RMB transactions, and its messaging services enable Chinese character transportation via Chinese Commercial Code (CCC) in FIN or via Chinese characters in MX (ISO 20022 messages). It offers a suite of dedicated RMB business intelligence products and services to support financial institutions and corporates. In addition, SWIFT collaborates with the community to publish the Offshore and Cross-Border RMB Best Practice Guidelines, which facilitate standardised RMB back office operations.
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 Based on the Gross domestic product in 2015. Data from the World Bank.