NTU and China central bank launch joint renminbi research centre

An employee hands Renminbi banknotes to a customer at a branch of the Industry and Commercial Bank of China.
An employee hands Renminbi banknotes to a customer at a branch of the Industry and Commercial Bank of China. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Nanyang Technological University and China's central bank, the People's Bank of China (PBOC), have jointly launched a research centre to study the demand and use of the renminbi (RMB) in international markets.

The Centre for RMB Internationalisation Studies (CRIS) was launched at the Ritz Carlton in Beijing on Tuesday morning (March 29), NTU announced on Tuesday (March 29).

Said Professor Ravi Kumar, dean of Nanyang Business School: "The renminbi is now the world's second most used currency for trade and services. Its road to internationalisation which began in the late 2000s has gained great momentum.

"As one of the foremost business schools in Asia, we want to play a leadership role in training and preparing leaders on the tremendous impact an internationalised RMB has on world economy."

Located at NTU, the centre will be jointly managed by PBOC's China Centre for Financial Training and NTU's Nanyang Business School.

Besides assessing the RMB's impact on the world economy and trade, the new centre will provide thought leadership on RMB through conferences and forums for top finance leaders and policymakers.

It will share research papers in public domains and maintain a comprehensive economic and finance database for research and academic use.

Said Associate Professor Lee Boon Keng, director of the new centre: "Singapore, being the only country in the world offering round-the-clock RMB clearing service and a key RMB offshore settlement centre, is an ideal location to set up the Centre for RMB Internationalisation Studies.

"I am confident that CRIS will become a knowledge centre for governments, businesses, financial institutions and academia to gain insights into the significance of RMB as an international currency."

The new centre is supported by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which will oversee the development of a stable and efficient RMB currency infrastructure.

Present at the launch ceremony were Mr Stanley Loh, Singapore's ambassador to China; Ms Xing Yujing, PBOC's director-general of monetary policy department; Mr Eric Lian, president and CEO of UOB China; Ms Chang Su Hoong, chief representative of MAS' Beijing Representative Office; and, Mr Gu Shu, senior executive vice-president of ICBC Singapore.

Said Mr Zhang Weiwu, general manager of ICBC Singapore: "We believe the general trend of RMB internationalisation, the opening up of China's capital market as well as the potential of cross-border RMB business remain unchanged. We remain optimistic about the future of RMB internationalisation and the development of Singapore's offshore RMB market."