Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong forecast that the Chinese currency the RMB will comprise one third of their FX volumes in six months’ time, according to the most recent Asia Business Foreign Exchange (ABFX) report from East & Partners Asia, which researched the FX trading of 1843 SME businesses in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in August.
Hong Kong SMEs, as expected, were most engaged with the RMB, with the currency currently representing 27.7 percent of trading volume, forecast to grow to 33.3 percent in six months. The RMB was nominated as a Top Three currency by 48.6 percent of Hong Kong SMEs.
Engagement levels in Singapore were lower, with the RMB currently representing 11.9 of FX volumes, with a six month forecast of 15.2 percent. A surprisingly low 31.6 percent of SMEs nominated the RMB as a Top Three currency.
The RMB did not feature as a Top Three currency in the Philippines or in Malaysia, where engagement levels are yet to register with the ABFX research.
In Malaysia, the top three trading currencies are the USD, the Singapore dollar and the local Malaysian Ringgit.
In the Philippines, the top three are the USD, the Philippine Peso, and the Euro, which accounted for 12.9 percent of trading volume.
Darryl Ye, senior analyst with East & Partners Asia in Singapore, said the Hong Kong and Singapore results showed that engagement with the RMB was not confined just to the largest, Institutional, segment of the market.
“A lot has been written about RMB engagement by the largest Institutional sized businesses, but the ABFX research shows that the engagement is growing through all business segments,” said Ye.
“This is perhaps an even stronger indication of the traction the RMB has among Asia’s trading businesses, and we wait with interest to see if the currency will appear, over time, in our research of the Malaysian and Philippines markets as well.”