China focus: The future of renminbi trade

Opinions vary on how much of an impact a lack of investment opportunities will have on trade settlement.
Ben Chan, HSBC
Ben Chan, HSBC

Hong Kong’s renminbi trade-settlement scheme might be growing quickly, but it faces an uncomfortable truth deposits in Hong Kong renminbi, or CNH in bankers’ jargon, heavily outweigh the city’s available pool of renminbi assets by more than four to one. That leaves many would-be opportunists with a tough question what to do with their renminbi

CNH deposits have increased to Rmb407 billion $62.2 billion, as of February 2011. Opportunities to invest CNH, however, are limited principally to renminbi-denominated Hong Kong-issued bonds. But with a total outstanding amount of about Rmb95 billion of these so-called dim sum bonds, they account for less than a quarter of CNH deposits.

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