Citi Sees Surge in Offshore Renminbi-Related Activities in Singapore
Singapore - February 20, 2013 – Since the People’s Bank of China (PBC) first introduced the renminbi (RMB) cross-border initiative in July 2009 to promote the internationalization of RMB, the number of activities in Singapore for offshore RMB solutions has grown significantly. Citi Singapore has seen strong growth in RMB-related transactions in the past two years including doubling of RMB account openings and significant increase in volume of payment processing as more trade transactions between Singapore and China are settled in the currency.
Anita Loh, Head of Product Management for Treasury and Trade Solutions, Citi Transaction Services for Singapore, says, “Singapore houses a number of regional treasury centres of multinational corporations (MNCs) and the further relaxation of China regulations will act as a catalyst for the continued growth of RMB cross-border activities here. This, in turn, will strengthen Singapore’s position as a global trade hub.”
She adds, “Citi’s extensive global presence and expertise in global liquidity management put us in a unique position to help corporate treasurers take advantage of opportunities that arise as a result of the internationalization of the RMB.”
For example, Citi recently completed its first cross-border RMB lending transaction for a European food company which operates its treasury center in Singapore. The transaction was at the back of PBC’s pilot scheme for RMB cross-border lending which was introduced last year.
The transaction, facilitated end-to-end by Citi China and Citi Singapore, is structured to optimize the surplus liquidity in the European food company’s operations in China. This is a significant step forward for Singapore companies with subsidiaries in China as they can improve their overall group liquidity position. These companies can now better manage their excess cash and achieve greater efficiency in their global fund usage and allocation.
Anita continues, “To serve the needs of companies that have operations in China, a China desk was established in Singapore in 2010. Singapore was one of the first few countries within Citi to have started a China desk to assist our clients to optimize their treasury management which includes the cross-border usage of RMB.”
The full suite of offshore RMB solutions that Citi Singapore provides to corporate treasurers today include current accounts, payments, receivables, time deposits, trade services and trade financing solutions under LC, along with spot and forward FX transactions, FX hedging solutions and structured deposits.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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About Citi Transaction Services
Citi Transaction Services, a division of Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, offers integrated cash management, trade, and securities and fund services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world. With a network that spans more than 95 countries, Citi’s Transaction Services supports over 65,000 clients. As of the fourth quarter of 2012, it held on average $428 billion in liability balances and $13.2 trillion in assets under custody.