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Foreign Exchange

Singapore hits critical mass in offshore renminbi futures

Volatility in China and increased onshore access means a greater need for hedging; Singapore also building offshore rupee traction.

RMB-dollar-count-R-780



One number stood out when Singapore Exchange (SGX) issued its full-year trading numbers for 2018 last week.

Dollar/CNH futures trading – referring to offshore renminbi – hit a total of $534 billion, a 181% year-on-year increase over 2017.

SGX-chart-780


The figure for December alone was $65.4 billion, a record. The contract is now shifting $2.17 billion a day in average daily volume, and crossed $1 billion on 238 days last year, compared with 54 days in the previous four years.

There is a sense of offshore renminbi trading having suddenly hit critical mass in Singapore. It has taken a while: the SGX began a complex of FX pairs five years ago, embracing the Indian rupee as well as renminbi, and today has 19 currency pairs listed on the exchange, but it is USD/CNH that dominates.

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Lam Kok Chong,
SGX

“We have seen massive growth,” says Lam Kok Chong, head of FX and rates at the SGX.






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