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JPMorgan Embraces Offshore Yuan as Trading Doubles

January 21, 2013
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Source: Business Week

Standard Chartered Plc estimates offshore trading of yuan has doubled to at least $6 billion a day, giving investors more confidence to invest in the currency using options, forwards and Dim Sum bonds.

Average daily transactions in Hong Kong surged from $3 billion in the past year, said Charles Feng, Standard Chartered’s regional head for fixed-income trading in the city. Trading in offshore options in the currency swelled to between $300 million and $500 million per day, according to J.P. Morgan Private Bank, which is buying the contracts for its clients. HSBC Holdings Plc says combined yuan deposits and certificates of deposits in the city will rise 43 percent this year to 1 trillion yuan ($161 billion).

Dim Sum bonds have been rallying for a record six consecutive weeks as the central bank announced plans to accelerate the opening up of capital markets to foreigners and allow cross-border yuan loans. The average yield on the securities fell five basis points last week to 3.5 percent, the lowest since October 2011, a Deutsche Bank AG index showed. That compares with an average 2.62 percent for global corporate debt, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data.

“Offshore yuan liquidity is unambiguously improving,” said Cliff Tan, East Asian head of global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in Hong Kong. “In particular, there is more official sector activity in the first days of the year. This flow is very promising for central banks to get more involved.”

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