RMB continues to penetrate the South African market


SWIFT’s RMB Tracker shows that RMB usage across South Africa has more than doubled in volumes over the past two years

Brussels, 24 August 2016 – SWIFT data shows that Renminbi (RMB) usage in payments in South Africa increased by 65% over the last 12 months and by 112% in the last two years, moving the country from position #30 in July 2014, to #24 in July 2016. Excluding domestic traffic, RMB payment messages increased in volume by 70% in the last 12 months. In addition, nearly 40% of RMB payments by South African institutions have been offshore payments exchanged with countries other than China and Hong Kong, compared to 16% in July 2015.

“South Africa has experienced a major shift in RMB growth over the last two years, strengthening the country’s trade relations with China and Hong Kong,” says Harry Newman, Head of Banking, SWIFT. “The establishment of an RMB clearing centre in South Africa in July 2015, as well as Singapore’s increased use of the RMB for payments with South Africa, have been a catalyst for RMB growth in the region.”

During the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, held in Johannesburg in December 2015,  China and representatives from50 African countries agreed to actively implement a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Promotion of China-Africa Cooperation in the area of infrastructure (fields of railway, highway, regional aviation networks and industrialisation). They will give priority to encourage Chinese businesses and financial institutions to expand investment through various means, such as Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)[1]. This MoU will increase the commercial exchanges between China and the African continent and should positively impact RMB volumes in the future.

In July 2016, the RMB bounced back to its position as the fifth most active currency for global payments by value with a share of 1.90%, a slight increase from 1.72% in June 2016. Overall RMB payments value decreased by 0.68% compared to June 2016, whilst in general all payments currencies decreased by 10.08%.

RMB graph 1RMB graph 2

About SWIFT and RMB Internationalisation

Since 2010, SWIFT has actively supported its customers and the financial industry regarding RMB internationalisation through various publications and reports. Through its Business Intelligence Solutions team, SWIFT publishes key adoption statistics in the RMB Tracker, insights on the implications of RMB internationalisation, perspectives on RMB clearing and offshore clearing guidelines, supports bank’s commercial RMB product launches and provides in-depth analysis and business intelligence, as well as engaging with offshore clearing centres and the Chinese financial community to support the further internationalisation of the RMB.

The SWIFT network fully supports global RMB transactions, and its messaging services enable Chinese character transportation via Chinese Commercial Code (CCC) in FIN or via Chinese characters in MX (ISO 20022 messages). It offers a suite of dedicated RMB business intelligence products and services to support financial institutions and corporates. In addition, SWIFT collaborates with the community to publish the Offshore and Cross-Border RMB Best Practice Guidelines, which facilitate standardised RMB back office operations.

Please click here for more information about RMB Internationalisation or join our new ‘Business Intelligence Transaction Banking’ LinkedIn group.

[1] Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1323159.shtml


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