CME Group Delays Offshore Yuan Futures Start to February

CME Group Inc., owner of the world’s biggest futures exchange, delayed the introduction of deliverable forwards for offshore yuan to Feb. 25 from the fourth quarter, saying clients asked for more time to prepare.

“We’ve got a lot of interest from players and a lot of them are very keen, but obviously setting up renminbi accounts takes some time,” KC Lam, CME’s Singapore-based head of foreign-exchange for Asia, said in an interview today. “They came back to us requesting more time to set that up.” Lam said in a Sept. 13 interview that CME planned to start offering the offshore yuan contracts in the fourth quarter.

The move will put it five months behind Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which started the trading of similar contracts on Sept. 17. China is the world’s No. 1 exporter and People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Yi Gang said last month the nation has removed barriers for using the yuan for trading or investment partners who want to use the currency.

Hong Kong Exchanges set the standard contract size for offshore yuan futures at $100,000 each with tenors of up to one year and trading from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. local time. Chicago-based CME will have similar-sized contracts of up to three years as well as $10,000 futures with maturities of no more than 12 months, Lam said.

The yuan has strengthened 0.8 percent against the greenback this year to 6.2419 per dollar as of 1:28 p.m. in Shanghai, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. Twelve-month non-deliverable forwards slipped 0.05 percent to 6.3555 in Hong Kong, a 1.8 percent discount to the onshore spot rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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