Singapore can help boost yuan liquidity as currency is liberalised: DPM Tharman

Singapore could play a major role in boosting yuan liquidity and integrating the yuan into Asian currency markets as the Chinese currency is liberalised, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Friday.

Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister, was speaking at a financial markets conference held at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre.

"Singapore could support the integration of offshore RMB market with local currency markets and act as a testbed for new RMB products," he said. "The development of a wider range of RMB products will be helpful - it will create additional ways for corporates to deploy their RMB funds in the offshore markets and provide additional products for investors."

Banks in Singapore, for example, could explore how to encourage offshore yuan bond issuances here with longer maturity tenors and different issuer profiles, he noted.

Singapore could also use its strength as a wholesale financing centre to increase liquidity and circulation of the yuan in Asia, he said.

"We are also one of the largest centres of RMB payments outside Hong Kong," he added. Singapore, as a major source of foreign direct investment to China and a regional treasury centre for a large number of Chinese companies can provide enhanced access to yuan funding to corporates and investors.

It will also be critical to facilitate the development of a single, fungible offshore yuan market as it grows in multiple jurisdictions, Mr Tharman noted, adding that market participants will have to work together to avoid fragmented liquidity across markets.