27 September 2016

United Arab Emirates shows stellar growth in RMB adoption

Special edition of SWIFT’s RMB Tracker for Sibos 2016 shows new frontiers for RMB internationalisation in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

Sibos - Geneva, 27 September 2016 – Data from SWIFT’s latest RMB Tracker shows exceptional growth in RMB adoption in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) witnessing a 210.8% growth in payments value of the currency since August 2014, albeit from a low base. More than 80% of the direct payments made between the UAE and China/Hong Kong in August 2016 were in CNY, representing one of the highest increases worldwide.

With Sibos taking place in Geneva this year, the special edition of the RMB Tracker takes the opportunity to look beyond long-established markets such as London to offer a snapshot of four other markets in EMEA, France, Germany, Switzerland and the UAE

Data within the report shows that the EMEA region is ranked as number two in RMB adoption after Asia-Pacific. Other key RMB highlights include:

  • The RMB has retained its position as the number five world payments currency, representing 1.86% of global payments by value.
  • France leads Eurozone countries in RMB payments by value, despite flat growth over the past three years. Close to 50% of France’s direct payments with China/Hong Kong were denominated in CNY in August 2016.
  • The RMB is ranked number three in Switzerland for direct payments with China/Hong Kong after HKD and CHF. There has been 43.5% growth in RMB payments by value compared to November 2015, when the clearing centre was established.
  • The euro continues to dominate the corridor for payments between Germany and China/Hong Kong with a share of 80.1%.

Alain Raes, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific & EMEA at SWIFT says: “RMB adoption in France, Switzerland and Germany is progressing slowly, while the UAE continues to show significant growth – we have seen impressive 44.6% increase in payments value since August 2015.”

“We expect this growth to continue in the UAE following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2015 for the set-up of an additional clearing centre in the Middle East. This will enable even more corporates operating in the region to access RMB products, open RMB accounts and use the currency to make payments to both onshore and offshore counterparts,” he added.

RMB adoption in France, Switzerland and Germany is progressing slowly, while the UAE continues to show significant growth – we have seen impressive 44.6% increase in payments value since August 2015.

Alain Raes, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific & EMEA, SWIFT

The UK remains the dominant offshore RMB clearing centre after Hong Kong, totalling 67.3% of all RMB direct payments made between Europe and China/Hong Kong in August 2016.

On 21 September 2016, the People’s Bank of China appointed Bank of China as the first yuan clearing bank in the United States. SWIFT’s August 2016 data shows that only 2.8% of all payments by value between US and China/Hong Kong are done in RMB while Europe, for example, reached 30.6%. The appointment of this new clearing centre will most probably strengthen its position on the RMB.

To download SWIFT’s special edition RMB Tracker report, please click here.  



About SWIFT and RMB Internationalisation
Since 2010, SWIFT has actively supported its customers and the financial industry regarding RMB internationalisation through various publications and reports. Through its Business Intelligence Solutions team, SWIFT publishes key adoption statistics in the RMB Tracker, insights on the implications of RMB internationalisation, perspectives on RMB clearing and offshore clearing guidelines, supports bank’s commercial RMB product launches and provides in-depth analysis and business intelligence, as well as engaging with offshore clearing centres and the Chinese financial community to support the further internationalisation of the RMB.

The SWIFT network fully supports global RMB transactions, and its messaging services enable Chinese character transportation via Chinese Commercial Code (CCC) in FIN or via Chinese characters in MX (ISO 20022 messages). It offers a suite of dedicated RMB business intelligence products and services to support financial institutions and corporates. In addition, SWIFT collaborates with the community to publish the Offshore and Cross-Border RMB Best Practice Guidelines, which facilitate standardised RMB back office operations.

Please click here for more information about RMB Internationalisation or join our new ‘Business Intelligence Transaction Banking’ LinkedIn group.

For more information, visit www.swift.com.



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SWIFT does not guarantee the fitness for purpose, completeness, or accuracy of the RMB Tracker, and reserves the right to rectify past RMB Tracker data. SWIFT provides the RMB Tracker on an 'as is' basis, and for information purposes only. As a mere informative publication, the RMB Tracker is not meant to provide any recommendation or advice. Any person consulting the RMB Tracker remains solely and fully responsible for all decisions based, in full or in part, on RMB Tracker data. SWIFT disclaims all liability regarding a person’s use of the RMB Tracker. The RMB Tracker is a SWIFT publication.

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