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The week in renminbi: PBoC’s Yi sees room for improvement for RMBi, CBRC warns Chinese banks on risk, Citic forecasts strong cross-border RMB demand

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By Noah Sin
15 Jan 2018

The deputy governor of China’s central bank believes the country is punching below its weight on renminbi internationalisation, the Chinese banking watchdog stresses the need to prevent risk, and China Citic Bank International projects strong demand for cross-border RMB transactions in the first quarter.

Regulators:

  • The global usage of the renminbi fails to reflect China’s economic strength, Yin Yong, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, was quoted by a January 14 state media report as saying.
    The central banker noted the renminbi only accounts for 2% of global FX transactions, just over 1% of FX reserves, and less than 5% of trade payments in 55 countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative.
    “The renminbi’s international status is far lower than the proportion of the Chinese economy in the global economy, which means enormous room for improvement in the currency's global use,” he said.
  • Chinese banks must comply with regulations which help prevent systemic financial risk, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a January 13 announcement.
    The watchdog said it will more forcefully tackle illegal activities this year, guiding the sector to serve the real economy. In particular, the CBRC will focus on rooting out shadow banking activities, poor corporate governance and corruption, and other activities that go against the country’s macro-prudential policy.

Belt and Road:                         

  • The UK has demonstrated its strong commitment to bilateral cooperation with China, especially under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi Jinping, president of China, was reported by a January 12 Chinese state media report as saying.
    Xi made the remarks during a January 11 meeting with David Cameron, former British prime minister, who will participate in the establishment and operation of a $1bn investment fund targeting Belt and Road projects.

Payments:

  • The PBoC recorded Rmb4.36tr ($671.5bn) of cross-border RMB settlement globally in 2017, according to figures released by the central bank on January 12.
  • Demand for Hong Kong’s cross-border banking services will remain strong among Chinese corporates in the first quarter, according to China Citic Bank International’s Cross-border Banking Demand Index.
    The index, which is the result of a survey of 500 enterprises and 500 individuals using cross-border RMB banking services, gained one point and stood at 56.9 points for the first quarter of this year.
    A strong RMB, capital controls and a stabilised Chinese economy contributed to the strong demand for RMB, which is partly reflected in the recovery in dim sum bond issuance volume, Liao Qun, chief economist at China Citic Bank International, said in a January 10 press release.

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By Noah Sin
15 Jan 2018