Singapore thrives as a leader of the world's offshore centres for trading China's currency

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore told a seminar on Tuesday (Aug 29) that as at the end of July this year, yuan clearing volumes here hit an accumulated total of 170 trillion yuan.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore told a seminar on Tuesday (Aug 29) that as at the end of July this year, yuan clearing volumes here hit an accumulated total of 170 trillion yuan.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore continues to thrive in its leading position as one of the world's largest offshore centres for China's currency, the yuan.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore told a seminar on Tuesday (Aug 29) that as at the end of July this year, yuan clearing volumes here hit an accumulated total of 170 trillion yuan.

ICBC Singapore general manager Hu Fang, general manager of ICBC Singapore, said: "With the steady growth of yuan internationalisation and Belt & Road Initiative-related corporate activities, we continue to see a strong increase in demand for more yuan product diversification in Singapore."

China's One Belt, One Road initiative aims to rebuild Silk Road trade infrastructure with Asia and Europe.

Ms Hu added: "Financial support and connectivity is a vital factor for the success of the initiative, as it involves massive infrastructure upgrades and more collaborative projects across various industry sectors.

"ICBC Group has granted a total of US$67.4 billion of loans for over 200 projects along the Belt and Road region. In the first half of 2017 alone, ICBC Singapore worked hand-in-hand with local and overseas financial institution partners on fund-raising mandates for the initiative."

Mr Chew Sutat, executive vice president and head of equities and fixed income at the Singapore Exchange (SGX), said: "Following our memorandum of understanding signing last September in a bid to enhance the capital market links between Singapore and China, the SGX and ICBC have been working closely to promote the Singapore capital market to Chinese companies as a means to raise funds through equity and bond listings.

"SGX's sector strengths mirror the initiative's growth sectors, and we are already seeing signs of increased fundraising activities in the Singapore capital market, as the initiative continues to gain momentum."

Declaring the ICBC partnership fruitful, Mr Chew noted in June, that the SGX had met more than 80 Chinese state-owned companies at ICBC's bond financing and macroeconomics seminar in Beijing.

"We are confident that with the growing global interest in the China market and the acceleration of the initiative, ICBC's expertise in the Chinese market and financial services sector will prove to be invaluable to financial institutions in this region."