China's Yuan Joins the Ranks of Most Traded International Currencies

The Chinese yuan is now among the most-traded currency globally, according to the Bank for International Settlements' latest report on foreign-exchange turnover.


Also known as the renminbi, the yuan is ninth in the global ranking, surpassing the Swedish krona and New Zealand dollar, among other widely used currencies. The yuan ranked 17th in the previous BIS survey, in 2010.


Trading of the Chinese yuan in global foreign exchange markets has more than tripled from three years ago due to the expansion of offshore trade, says the BIS. Trading has reached $120 billion a day in 2013, the BIS said, referencing survey data from April.


"The role of the renminbi in global FX trading surged, in line with increased efforts to internationalise the Chinese currency," the BIS said in the survey.


The yuan was just behind the Mexican peso which was eighth in the global ranking. The Russian ruble, Turkish lira, South African rand and Brazilian real all also accounted for a bigger slice of global flows, while the Korean won and Polish zloty accounted for slightly smaller shares.


"Five years ago, it was next to impossible to help our clients pay Chinese suppliers in renminbi because of the government controls," Guido Schulz, global head of strategic management at AFEX, an international payment service told the Wall Street Journal. "Now, it's just another transaction."


"The renminbi has been a big growth story over the last year," said Richard Anthony, global head of foreign-exchange electronic trading at HSBC in London. "Trading volumes are increasing not only from corporate clients off the back of global trade, but also from the investor community."




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