Singapore to become Chinese yuan trading center

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 4:01 AM
Singapore to become Chinese yuan trading center

Singapore will join Hong Kong as an offshore trading center for China's currency, the state-run Straits Times newspaper said Tuesday, citing a top official.

Singapore will not try to rival Hong Kong as a yuan trading hub, instead focusing on facilitating trade settlement in the Chinese currency for Asian businesses, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who is also chairman of Singapore's central bank and a former prime minister.

The Bank of China or Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will manage yuan trading and settlement in Singapore, the newspaper said, without specifying when the island will begin trading China's currency.

Goh made his comments to Singapore reporters in Beijing after meeting with Chinese officials.

China is seeking to make the use of its tightly-controlled currency easier and more widespread. On Monday, China and New Zealand agreed to a 25 billion yuan ($4.9 billion) currency swap deal to support the settlement of trade transactions between businesses of the two countries. China signed a 700 million yuan swap agreement with Uzbekistan on Tuesday.

China has allowed international trade to be settled in yuan since 2009. Hong Kong is the only city outside of mainland China where yuan trades are settled through a Chinese bank.

Since the onset of the world financial crisis in late 2008, China has also signed currency swap agreements with South Korea Malaysia, Belarus, Indonesia, Argentina, Iceland and Singapore, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.