THE yuan has moved into the ranks of the top five world payment currencies, overtaking the Canadian dollar and Australian dollar by value.
Now behind the Japanese yen, British pound, euro and US dollar, the yuan or renminbi (RMB) has moved quickly to gain share in global payments, rising from 0.63 per cent in January 2013 to 2.17 per cent in December last year, data from international financial communications platform Swift showed.
"The RMB breaking into the top five world payments currencies is an important milestone," said Wim Raymaekers, Swift's head of banking markets. "It is a great testimony to the internationalisation of the RMB and confirms its transition from an 'emerging' to a 'business as usual' payment currency."
"The rise of various offshore RMB clearing centres around the world, including eight new agreements signed with the People's Bank of China in 2014, was an important driver fuelling this growth," he added.
In value terms, global RMB payments rose by 20.3 per cent in December last year, outpacing the 14.9 per cent growth in payments across all currencies.