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RBS Sees Yuan Trade Settlement Reaching $1 Trillion by 2015

Cross-border trade settled in Chinese renminbi will triple to 6.5 trillion ($1.03 trillion) yuan within three years as relations with the world’s second largest economy grow, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. said.

Settlement will grow from 12 to 20 percent this year, reaching $1.03 trillion in two years, up from $330.8 billion in 2011, Janet Ming, head of the China desk for RBS in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a Oct. 9 interview in Dubai.

“We’re seeing a lot more customers starting to practice in renminbi,” Ming said. “For most companies and banks, China and India is where the growth is. If you’re dealing with China, ignoring renminbi is not the right thing to do.”

The Euro and U.S. dollar are the top two settlement currencies with market share of 41 percent and 33 percent, according to the bank.

RBS also expects a growing number of foreign companies and governments to issue bonds in the Chinese currency as they become “more confident” with the renminbi as an international currency, Ming said.

“Different Asian governments are investing into the renminbi to use it as a reserve currency,” she said.

Hong Kong is currently the global hub for renminbi trade settlement. RBS, along with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, is lobbying to make London another offshore hub for the currency. Singapore, Taipei and Paris are also being considered.

“London has many competitive advantages such as timezone, robust legal frameworks and efficient markets,” Ming said.

Global issuers accounted for a record share of yuan-denominated bond sales in Hong Kong last quarter as it became more attractive to raise Chinese currency and swap the proceeds into dollars.

Export-Import Bank of Korea led 10.7 billion yuan ($1.69 billion) of so-called dim sum offerings by non-Chinese companies, whose share of the market rose to 49 percent, excluding certificates of deposit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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