As Ecns reports, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore completed its first clearing of 35 million yuan via the Cross-border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) on Thursday as a major step to internationalize its currency.
The transaction, which was a trade settlement payment from Singapore's Raffemet Pte Ltd to Baosteel Resources in Shanghai, marked the first in Asia to be cleared through the newly-launched system.
The CIPS system was developed and administered by China's central bank. It enables market participants outside China to clear yuan transactions with their Chinese counterparts directly from during any working day under a coding format in line with international practice.
The CIPS will process a broad range of cross-border RMB transactions, including settlement of RMB trade and capital projects, as well as settlement of remittance transactions, ICBC Singapore said.
"The launch of CIPS represents a turning point in the internationalisation of the yuan. As the yuan continues to rise as a popular choice among world payment currencies, CIPS will accelerate global use of the currency, with the extended operational hours and greater efficiency," said Zhang Weiwu, General Manager of ICBC Singapore.
As Zerohedge reports, the picture that emerges is one in which China has managed to convince Russia to settle oil imports in renminbi and in which the AIIB and Silk Road funds are set to help establish the yuan as the funding currency for billions in development projects.
While we may still be years away from the fabled “yuan hegemony,” we got still more evidence on Tuesday that despite the currency’s rather uncertain medium-term trajectory and despite a still closed capital account, China is moving ever closer to establishing the RMB as a reserve currency.
In August, for the first time, the yuan moved ahead of Japan’s yen for fourth place in a league table of the most-used currencies for cross-border payments compiled by Swift, the international payments provider.
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