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London ramps up its offshore renminbi bid

As China continues to liberalize its economy and the renminbi gains in importance, efforts to make the currency international are gathering pace. How will London get a piece of the action?

Mark Boleat, chairman of the City of London’s policy and resources committee
Mark Boleat, chairman of the City of London’s policy and resources committee

Mark Boleat, chairman of the City of London’s policy and resources committee, is a picture of relaxation as he walks into a meeting room next to his office at the Guildhall. With tie loose at the collar, he explains the leading role he thinks London can play in the development of the offshore renminbi bond market. Alongside his day job, Boleat serves as chairman of the steering committee for the City of London initiative on London as a centre for RMB business. Set up in April, the committee’s aim is to encourage London’s long-term position as the primary western hub for renminbi transactions, while also boosting the currency’s international use in trade and investment.

In a move straight from public relations 101, on the very day the committee was set up HSBC issued the first offshore renminbi bond in London. It raised Rmb2 billion ($317 million), with 60% being placed in Europe.

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