International banks best placed to profit from renminbi

Renminbi liberalisation measures may not have added much to international banks’ bottom lines yet, but watch this space, says BoA Merrill’s Alistair Scarff.
Alistair Scarff, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Alistair Scarff, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Since the decision by China's regulators last July to liberalise the renminbi as a trade settlement currency, RMB deposits in Hong Kong have surged to Rmb315 million at the end of 2010, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority HKMA. This has been a boon for the Bank of China in Hong Kong BOCHK which is the sole renminbi clearing bank. But the currency reforms have yet to trickle down to the balance sheets of Hong Kong’s international banks.

“At the moment currency trade is all about currency appreciation and redenomination. The international banks realistically are not making any money. It’s very simply trade out of dollar, yen, and sterling into renminbi,” said...

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