Yuan overtakes yen in global payment

Beijing, October 6

China’s yuan has overtaken the Japanese yen and moved into fourth place among the world’s payments currencies, global transactions organisation SWIFT said today, as Beijing pushes greater international use of its currency.

Yuan — also known as renminbi — held a 2.79 per cent share in world payments based on value in August, SWIFT said in a statement, besting the yen’s 2.76 per cent. The yen’s position eroded to fifth place.

SWIFT stressed that over the last three years the yuan has jumped past seven currencies. In August 2012 it ranked 12th with a share of just 0.84 per cent. ‘The currency has also further established itself as dominant currency for trade finance behind’ the dollar, it added.

In August, the greenback ranked as the top payments currency with a 44.82 per cent share, SWIFT said, followed by the euro at 27.20 per cent and British pound at 8.45 per cent.

China is seeking to make the yuan used more internationally in line with its standing as the world’s second-largest economy. Some analysts predict the unit will one day rival the dollar, currently the world’s key reserve currency.