China’s currency will account for 10 percent of world reserves by 2025 with Asian monetary authorities showing the most support, according to a survey of central banks carried out in March.
The yuan will make up an estimated 2.9 percent of foreign-exchange stockpiles by the end of this year, based on the Central Banking Publications survey sponsored by HSBC Holdings Plc. It includes responses from 72 monetary authorities with $5.9 trillion in reserves. Thirty-five said they either hold yuan or are considering doing so.
The results come as China calls for the International Monetary Fund to include the yuan in the agency’s four-currency reserve basket at a review later this year. Inclusion would help the world’s second-largest economy challenge the dollar’s dominance in global trade and finance.
Becoming part of the Special Drawing Rights will also accelerate the yuan’s adoption while reforms in China could enhance investment options for reserve managers, Christian Deseglise, HSBC’s global head of central banks and reserve managers, said in a press release Monday.
Another HSBC survey showed last month that 17 percent of companies worldwide used the yuan to settle trades, down from 22 percent a year earlier. The yuan fell two levels to seventh place globally among the most-used currencies in February, according to the Society for Worldwide Financial Telecommunications. The dollar and euro dominate markets, accounting for 72 percent of the payment system. The yuan trailed the British pound, Japanese yen, Swiss franc and Canadian dollar.
China will revamp its foreign-exchange rules “relatively radically” this year, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan told the Boao Forum for Asia last month. The yuan’s daily moves are limited to a maximum 2 percent on either side of a reference rate set by the PBOC. There are also restrictions on capital flows, with both inbound and outbound investments conducted through designated programs.
Global reserve managers retain concerns over the yuan’s convertibility, its limited options for investment and credit quality in some cases, according to the Central Banking Publications survey. Deutsche Bank AG said last week that the yuan has less than a 50 percent chance of becoming a reserve currency this year as it’s not convertible under the capital account and foreign investors don’t have access to Chinese bond markets in general.
The yuan, which has gained against 25 of 31 major currencies this year, fell 0.09 percent to 6.2147 a dollar as of 1:52 p.m. in Shanghai Monday, China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices show.