Yuan use to account for 10% of world trade

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Yuan trade settlement is expected to account for up to 10 percent of global trade settlement in five years as the scheme that China initiated to boost the use of the currency globally is set to grow rapidly, bankers said yesterday.

"The forecast doesn't sound too upbeat if you look at the sizzling growth of the program in past months," said Andrew Ng, head of treasury and markets at DBS, Southeast Asia's biggest bank, quoting "stronger-than-expected" needs from clients.

The yuan trade settlement is expected to contribute 5 percent to 10 percent of the global trade settlement in five years from less than 1 percent now, Ng said in Shanghai yesterday.

He said he expects between 300 billion yuan (US$45 billion) and 600 billion yuan will be used to settle trade by the end of the five years.

China launched the yuan trade settlement trial program in July 2009 in Shanghai and four cities in Guangdong Province to boost the global standing of the currency. The scheme was expanded in June to 20 provinces and municipalities to cover Beijing and included Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong and Sichuan provinces.

To tap the demand for yuan, Singapore-based DBS will invest S$250 million (US$193 million) in its treasury and markets business over five years.

Revenue outside its Singapore home market is set to account for 55 percent of the bank's treasury business in 2013 from 35 percent now, due to growing yuan business in China, it said yesterday.

DBS, which will more than triple its treasury staff in China in five years, said that intra-Asia trade is worth US$1.9 trillion, with more than 80 percent involving China's mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.

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