Yuan now third most traded currency on EBS platform

Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:29am EDT
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By Patrick Graham

LONDON Oct 14 (Reuters) - China's currency is now the third most traded on the EBS platform, overtaking such pairs as the dollar-Swiss franc and euro-yen on one of the main independent venues where banks trade currencies.

Officials at ICAP-owned EBS Brokertec, which competes with Thomson Reuters' Matching platform in bank-to-bank currency trading, said the number of players trading every day in China's yuan, or renminbi, had grown 50 percent in the past year.

That follows the announcement by the banking payment network SWIFT that the yuan is now the fourth most used currency in ordinary day-to-day payments worldwide.

"We have seen the number of counterparties who are trading spot CNH increase by 50 percent on a daily basis over the past year," said Jessica Roberts, head of strategic currencies at EBS in London.

"It is now the third most traded currency on EBS, although it is still some way behind the euro and yen (dollar pairs)."

China made a fresh push at International Monetary Fund meetings earlier this month for the yuan to be included in the fund's benchmark currency basket, arguing that recent reforms put it closer to qualifying.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that the onshore market in yuan would "soon" extend its trading hours to 11:30 p.m. (1530 GMT) to overlap with European trading hours, supporting the case for adding it to the IMF's Special Drawing Rights basket.

International critics, particularly in the United States, have argued that the controls Beijing maintains on flows of capital in and out of China mean it is still far from qualifying.   Continued...