Singapore to widen its RMB liquidity pool

Singapore to widen its RMB liquidity pool

SINGAPORE - Singapore's central bank governor says the island state plans to widen its liquidity pool of the Chinese currency as part of extended efforts to turn itself into a major offshore yuan market.

Ravi Menon said the country is also developing hedging instruments as part of these efforts.

"The critical factors that will determine how well Singapore develops as an RMB hub are liquidity and a range of hedging products," said Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the central bank and financial regulatory authority.

Singapore holds 100 billion yuan (S$20.51 billion) in renminbi deposits and Menon expects the total to rise.

"The deposits will grow at a stronger pace over time, facilitated by the launch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's Singapore RMB clearing facilities in May.

"With more liquidity, financial institutions will offer a wider range of RMB products and services to better meet the financing, investment and risk management needs of the market," he told China Daily.

Hong Kong, the largest offshore RMB centre, which accounts for 70 per cent of overseas yuan deposits, had deposits of 698.5 billion yuan up to May, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Taiwan is catching up quickly, and yuan deposits there might increase to 100 billion to 150 billion yuan by the end of the year from 66 billion yuan now, according to a report by Standard Chartered Bank.

Menon said offshore RMB liquidity in Singapore should be interchangeable with RMB liquidity in other offshore centers.

"This will help ensure that surplus liquidity in one centre can be channeled to meet the demand in another, thereby improving the efficiency of the overall RMB market."

"While there will no doubt be some competition among the major offshore RMB clearing centers, such as Hong Kong, London and Singapore, they will also play complementary roles in developing the offshore RMB market."

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