Adding further momentum to the growing importance of China's currency in global trade, Swift's latest RMB tracker indicates that the RMB has overtaken both the HK dollar and the US dollar to become the second most used currency for payments between Japan and China/Hong Kong.
In the past two years the renminbi has risen from fourth position to second, following the yen, as the currency used for payments between China and Japan. Its share of the total has grown from 3 per cent to 7 per cent. Swift's data indicates that institutional transfers are the driving force behind RMB adoption.
Yuji Takei, head of Japan at Swift, said: “In June 2015, a Japanese bank issued Japan's first yuan bond and other Japanese companies are expected to follow that lead. This shows increased confidence in the RMB, which could lead to further expansion of trade and investment between China and Japan using the RMB."
In terms of global payments, RMB is the fifth most active currency, as of October 2015, accounting for 1.92% of global payments.
HSBC predictions for how RMB use will evolve over next 12 months
Import/export trading will be the most common driver for RMB transactions, but outside of Asia-Pacific slight weakening of demand which is unlikely to improve for some time
The pitfalls and opportunities in RMB repo
Repurchase agreements remain a crucial investment option for RMB money market funds. While China's repo markets provide less transparency for investors, there are opportunities nonetheless.
RMB payments supported by growing number of banks
The rise in RMB payments is supported by a growing number of banks, according to Swift.