China moves to internationalise its currency

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China is rapidly accelerating its efforts to internationalise its currency with a series of manoeuvres that could see the renminbi soar to become one of the top three traded monetary units in the world.

By 2012, say analysts in Shanghai, as much as $2 trillion (£1.69 trillion) worth of trade flows may be settled using the “redback” as China stretches its commercial tentacles throughout the commodity-producing world and the emerging economies of Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The radical change in attitude may arise from a desire to protect China from the “dollar trap” — the problem that emerges when exporting countries are effectively forced to shovel large chunks of their reserves into the US treasury and suffer the consequences in times of high volatility.

The rising financial power of the renminbi may also prove to be the salvation of Hong Kong in its intensifying rivalry with Shanghai for international relevance.


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