Shanghai Cross-border Yuan Trade Expands


MORE market players are joining the cross-border yuan business in Shanghai and the People's Bank of China will further expand the business to bolster the city's real economy, the central bank said yesterday.

In Shanghai, 5,175 companies had used the cross-border yuan trade settlement program by the end of 2011, with 58 banks offering settlement services, the Shanghai headquarters of the PBOC said yesterday.

"The cross-border yuan business benefited companies, added a new profit contributor to banks and made the financial market more open and market-driven," it said, adding that the yuan business also generated more services and products to help the financial industry serve the real economy.

The cross-border yuan trade settlement program was launched to help firms duck foreign exchange risks, which cover different lines under the capital account, including direct investment in yuan, yuan-backed guarantee for overseas projects and issuance of yuan bonds offshore, the PBOC said.

The value of Shanghai's cross-border yuan settlement in 2011 alone more than quadrupled the previous total, and the city aims to further expand in this sector as part of its goal to becoming a global financial center by 2020. Last year, cross-border yuan settlement in the city topped 330 billion yuan (US$52.4 billion), or 16 percent of the country's total. The amount was up from the 74.3 billion yuan accumulated from July 2009, when Shanghai launched the business, through the end of 2010.

"We will regulate and expand the business with better services to support the economic growth of Shanghai this year," the central bank said.


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