South Africa’s yuan payments rise on stronger relations with China: SWIFT

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Published: July 29, 2015 8:47:20 AM

The number of South African payments denominated in yuan increased by 33 percent over the past year thanks to its strengthened bilateral relations with China, global transaction services organisation SWIFT said on Wednesday.

The number of South African payments denominated in yuan increased by 33 percent over the past year thanks to its strengthened bilateral relations with China, global transaction services organisation SWIFT said on Wednesday.

In June, 31.3 percent of direct payments between South Africa and China/Hong Kong were in yuan, compared to 10.8 percent in June 2014 and only 4.6 percent in June 2013, according to SWIFT.

“Much of this growth has to do with the strengthened bilateral relations between South Africa and China, which were renewed at the end of 2014 to include trade co-operation and sustainable investment opportunities between the two countries,” said Hugo Smit, head of Africa South at SWIFT.

“RMB usage in South Africa should continue to grow at a good rate.”

China’s central bank signed a currency swap agreement worth 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) with South Africa’s central bank in April, aiming to encourage bilateral trade and investment.

The yuan held its position as the fifth most-active currency for global payments in June, accounting for 2.09 percent of global payments, a slight fall from 2.18 percent in May.

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