ICBC Singapore's yuan-clearing services grows exponentially

Chinese bank ICBC Singapore has seen an explosive growth in the adoption of the yuan in Singapore since launching its yuan clearing services in May last year.

The bank said on Wednesday that it has so far cleared some 10 trillion yuan (S$2 trillion) since then.

It now clears some 300 billion yuan daily, up from just 2 billion yuan in the early days after clearing services were launched.

In the first quarter of this year alone, the bank cleared 6.9 trillion yuan, 2.7 times more than it cleared in the whole of last year.

Seventy-three local and foreign banks have opened yuan clearing accounts with ICBC so far and the bank's total assets and yuan deposits have all doubled since the beginning of this year.

ICBC said it will continue to innovate and promote new products and services, accelerate the rollout of yuan bank notes delivery and develop the yuan bond market. It is also developing online banking service targeted at financial institutions.

In a speech at a conference on the yuan last month, Mr Leong Sing Chiong, the assistant managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's development and international group, said total yuan deposits here stood at 200 billion yuan as of the end of December last year, up 70 per cent from nine months before.

Yuan-denominated loans, mainly trade financing, grew by almost 25 per cent in the same period to exceed 300 billion yuan.

That gave Singapore about 60 per cent of global yuan trade finance outside mainland China and Hong Kong.

There have also been six issuances of yuan-denominated bonds in Singapore totalling 7.5 billion yuan since the market was launched here.