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Renminbi still second currency between Malaysia and China

The US dollar is still the dominant currency for payments between Malaysia and China/Hong Kong, accounting for almost nine in 10 transactions (87 per cent) in terms of value of payments. The renminbi remains the second most active currency between those countries, with 8 per cent of payments by value, according to recent figures from SWIFT’s RMB Tracker.

According to SWIFT, the volume of renminbi payments between Malaysia, China and Hong Kong increased by 68 per cent over the past 12 months and by 214 per cent in the past three years. The Chinese currency has overtaken the Malaysian ringgit as the second trade currency since January 2013.

Michael Moon, SWIFT's head of payments for Asia-Pacific, said in a statement: “Despite volatility in China, and widely reported economic slowdown, the South-East Asian markets, such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, have been enhancing RMB payment capabilities, including the establishment of RMB clearing centres. This growth reflects the extensive trading relationships between South-East Asia and China, which continues to be very important for the region.”

The graphs below show the growing use of renminbi, both in terms of volume and value, between Malaysia and China/Hong Kong, from January 2013 to January 2016.

CTMfile take: These figures further demonstrate the growing importance of the renminbi as a global trade currency, particularly in Asia.

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