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Singapore pips London as yuan clearing centre

Singapore has overtaken London to rank second globally as a clearing centre for the Chinese yuan, global transaction services organisation SWIFT said on Monday.

SINGAPORE: Singapore has overtaken London to rank second globally as a clearing centre for the Chinese yuan, global transaction services organisation SWIFT said on Monday.

It said yuan, or renminbi (RMB), payments value in Singapore increased by 375 per cent between March 2013 and March 2014, accounting for 6.8 per cent of overall RMB payments.

Hong Kong remains the leading offshore yuan centre with 72.4 per cent, while London fell to third with 5.9 per cent.

London -- which overtook Singapore as an offshore yuan centre in June 2012 -- saw payments value rise 203 per cent in the 12 months to March 2014.

China named Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as the clearing bank for offshore yuan business in Singapore last February -- giving a boost to yuan transactions in the Southeast Asian city-state.

Claus Kwon, head of securities markets, Asia Pacific, at SWIFT, said: "Ever since last year's nomination of ICBC as a clearing bank in Singapore, we have been expecting the Singapore RMB payments flows to accelerate, especially as Chinese companies use it as a hub to reach ASEAN countries."

"We are now anticipating securities traffic to ramp up as well," he said. 

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