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Foreign Exchange: London seeks to be top renminbi trading centre

UK and Hong Kong sign deal; London in leading position

The push for London to become a primary trading hub for the renminbi continues after UK chancellor George Osborne signed a deal with Hong Kong, aimed at fostering greater cooperation in the drive to globalize the currency. The agreement follows last summer’s landmark accord, in which the UK and Chinese governments welcomed the development of the offshore renminbi market in London.

In a move that further distances London from European calls for a financial transactions tax, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the UK Treasury on January 16 announced the launch of a joint private-sector forum aimed at promoting the development of offshore renminbi business.

The forum will focus on enhancing links between Hong Kong and London, specifically regarding clearing and settlement systems, market liquidity and the development of new financial products denominated in the renminbi.

The forum will meet twice a year, with the first meeting to be held in Hong Kong in May. It will comprise representatives from Hong Kong and London banks, including HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of China (BOC), Deutsche Bank and Barclays.

The UK government believes the deal will help achieve its aim for London to complement Hong Kong in becoming a primary renminbi trading centre.

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