SWIFT: CNY retains 5-th position as global active currency

SWIFT: CNY retains 5-th position as global active currency

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The Chinese yuan (CNY) has retained its position as the fifth most active currency for global payments, shows the monthly report of the SWIFT system for international bank transfers, RMB Tracker, which monitors the international use of the Chinese currency.

In January 2016 the yuan accounted for 2.45% of all global payments. It posted a slight increase from 2.31% in December 2015. At the same time the payments posted a 5.7% decrease in value.


The four most popular currencies before the Yuan in January 2015 were the US dollar (USD), the euro (EUR), the British pound (GBP) and the Japanese yen (JPY). Since 2014 the Yuan has overtaken the Australian dollar (AUD) and the Canadian dollar (CAD), leaving them at the eighth and the sixth place, respectively.

Another highlight of the SWIFT RMB Tracker is the 68% year-on-year rise in the use of the Yuan in payments between Malaysia and China and Hong Kong in 2015. Over the last three years the increase was 214%, placing the Chinese currency at the second place after the Malaysian Ringgit.

“Despite volatility in China, and widely reported economic slowdown, the South-East Asian markets, such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, have been enhancing RMB payment capabilities, including the establishment of RMB clearing centres. This growth reflects the extensive trading relationships between South-East Asia and China, which continues to be very important for the region,” said Michael Moon, Head of Payments, Asia-Pacific at SWIFT quoted in a press release.

Last December the yuan has become the second most used currency between Japan and China and Hong Kong, surpassed only by the Japanese yen.

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