Renminbi (RMB) deposits and outstanding RMB certificates of deposits totaled more than 1 trillion yuan (163 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of last year in Hong Kong, accounting for 70 percent of the offshore pool of RMB liquidity, Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang said Wednesday.
In his budget speech, Tsang said RMB trade settlement conducted through Hong Kong banks exceeded 3.8 trillion yuan last year, with a year-on-year increase of 45 percent.
Hong Kong is the world's largest offshore Renminbi business center. In the past few years, RMB transactions conducted between local and overseas banks have increased substantially. The amounts due to and due from overseas banks have each increased significantly by more than eight times, from less than 20 billion yuan at end-2010 to some 160 billion yuan.
"We shall continue to support our country's accelerated drive to realize capital account convertibility and internationalization of the RMB by acting as a bridge between our nation and the rest of the world, and serving as a platform for mainland funds and enterprises to reach out to the international market," Tsang said.
As the world's financial centers are developing offshore RMB business, Tsang called for greater efforts to strengthen the city' s existing services, including RMB trade financing, RMB- denominated financial products and cross-border reinsurance, direct cross-border investment from the mainland, asset management and fund development, in order to maintain the city's position as the world's largest offshore Renminbi business center.