Bank of China Manila Branch named RMB clearing bank for Philippines

Xinhua News Agency | Sep 18, 2019 at 11:40 AM

MANILA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Bank of China Manila Branch has been designated as the clearing bank for renminbi (RMB) business in the Philippines, the bank announced on Wednesday.

"A clearing bank will not only make local RMB transactions easier in support of the already existing Philippine RMB Trading Community that was launched last year, it will also boost local investments and other financial activities, further strengthening the economic relationship between the Philippines and China," Deng Jun, country head of Bank of China Manila Branch, said in a statement.

As an RMB clearing bank designated by China's central bank, Bank of China Manila Branch will enable the Philippine financial institutions to transfer RMB funds and participate in China's foreign exchange market, security market, and bond market.

Moreover, it will also help the local banks expand their product scope and provide better convenience for clients and investors looking to enter the Chinese financial market, increase their RMB asset holdings, or diversify their investment portfolios.

With a local clearing bank in place, RMB transactions are projected to grow as more Chinese tourists, traders, and investors, along with their Filipino counterparts, grow more confident in using the currency.

"This new facility will help drive the currency's use for payments and investments, further promoting cross-border settlements, trade financing, project investments, and loans. Ultimately, this projected surge in financial activity will foster the shared development of both countries," Deng added.

"We are keen on fully taking on our role as a bridge between the Philippines and China by better-facilitating RMB liquidity management and enhancing cross-border capital flows," Deng said.

"This in turn will attract quality Chinese direct investors who can contribute to the Philippines' economic development by creating more job opportunities and raising the competitiveness of domestic firms," Deng further said.

Bank of China Manila Branch said the data shows that RMB transaction is already on the rise. According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the total amount of RMB cleared in the Philippines from January to June 2019 was 127.4 billion RMB, an increase of 45.3 percent compared to the first half-year of 2018.

In terms of transactions, the total number of RMB clearing activities is up to 12,116 items, an increase of 73.9 percent compared to last year.