S'pore 'can do more to support internationalisation of yuan'

As a leading offshore yuan trading centre, Singapore could be an advocate for further internationalisation of the Chinese currency, said Standard Chartered Bank.

The bank's group head for transaction banking, Mr Alex Manson, said in a recent interview that while Singapore has been successful as an offshore yuan centre, it could do more to support the emergence of the yuan as an international currency.

"The yuan's internationalisation is not just a China issue, it's an international issue," Mr Manson said, adding that it takes cooperation and coordination across different countries to support the development of the currency.

This echoes the recommendations made in a recent White Paper on yuan internationalisation.

Entitled "Renminbi ascending: How China's currency impacts global markets, foreign policy and transatlantic financial regulation", the report developed by US-based think-tank the Atlantic Council calls for stronger "transatlantic and transpacific" coordination.

Deeper public- and private-sector cooperation to promote a more widespread use of the currency is also needed, it noted.

Mr Manson believes that the increasing role of the yuan in world trade and the eventual opening up of the yuan capital account will have a stabilising effect on the world's growth.

"We're seeing the emergence of another international currency, a mega trader of the 21st century."

However, the Atlantic Council also cautioned that global acceptance of the yuan is not without problems.

Policymakers will have to consider its impact on monetary, regulatory and foreign policies.

The think-tank suggested that greater transparency, together with institutional and regulatory reforms, will help the currency garner more widespread support.

Around a quarter of China's annual foreign trade is now conducted in yuan and that could rise to half of its total trade, or US$2.6 trillion (S$3.5 trillion), in five years' time.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore 'can do more to support internationalisation of yuan''. Print Edition | Subscribe