The total renminbi (RMB) deposits in Singapore has hit over 140 billion yuan (22.88 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of this July, up 40 percent since last December, Leong Sing Chiong, Assistant Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state's central bank, said on Friday.
Speaking at a conference organized by Bank of China, Leong said they "believe that as RMB internationalization continues to progress, this has the potential to significantly transform the Asian financial landscape over the medium term."
"It is critical for Singapore's financial center to build RMB capabilities early to position ourselves for the future," he added.
He recalled the launch of RMB clearing arrangements here in May. And the central banks of the two countries, the MAS and the People 's Bank of China, had also doubled the size of the bilateral currency swap facility from 150 billion yuan (24.5 billion U.S. dollars) to 300 billion yuan (49.0 billion U.S. dollars).
He said the two developments will provide a strong impetus for the future growth of RMB activities here.
"With the People's Bank of China's recent RMB liberalization measures announced in July 2013, more corporates are expected to conduct RMB trade settlement and cash pooling in offshore centers like Singapore, and RMB deposits are expected to grow at a stronger pace over time," the spokesman of the MAS reply to Xinhua as saying.
Magnus Bocker, CEO of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), also revealed that over 1,400 bonds are listed on SGX, 6 percent of which are denominated in RMB.
During the conference, Bank of China launched the BOC Cross- border Renminbi Index, which is developed based on the bank's insights into the currency transfer process, reflecting RMB's level of activities in cross-border and overseas transactions.
The Bank of China said the index provides a practical guide for businesses to use cross-border RMB products and service.
Tian Guoli, the chairman of Bank of China, said at the conference that China's international trade number contributed 11. 1 percent and 9.8 percent of global export and import volumes respectively in 2012. However, the RMB only accounts for 0.87 percent of the total amount of global trade settlement in the same year.
He said the RMB was on a path to become one of the world's major trading currencies, and that Bank of China's global network is enabling greater RMB access in global markets.
In the first eight months this year, the Bank of China Singapore branch recorded a total settlement volume of 1.37 trillion RMB.
The bank also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the SGX to cooperate in developing RMB products and services, and expanding business in China and SGX's market. It will make the bank the first Chinese settlement bank for the bourse.
During the conference, the bank also signed a MoU with Trafigura Pte Ltd, one of the world's largest commodity companies.