MANILA — The Bank of China Manila has been officially established as the renminbi (RMB) Clearing Bank of the Philippines in a ceremonial launch held here on Saturday.

The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing RMB markets in Southeast Asia. The total volume of RMB cleared in 2020 was 447 billion yuan, a 134 percent increase compared to 2019’s total of 191 billion yuan.

“We’ve seen tourists, traders, and investors grow more confident in using the currency in the local market,” said Deng Jun, country head at the Bank of China Manila Branch.

“As we work towards growing the market even further, this establishment will help us provide more focused RMB services to all the local participating banks,” Deng said.

As a designated clearing bank for RMB business in the Philippines, the Bank of China Manila Branch can process the settlement of accounts and other core RMB services such as remittance, foreign exchange, liquidity support, and banknotes for the local participating banks.

It can also provide local market participants with access to the Chinese mainland’s onshore RMB rates as an alternative to the more accessible CNH (offshore RMB) rate.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, also welcomed the establishment of the RMB clearing bank.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said that the establishment of an RMB clearing bank in the country is an important step in the currency diversification of the local market.

“This opens up a lot of opportunities for local business in the easing of transactions and reducing the cost of settlement between Philippine and Chinese companies. As we further diversify the currency basket in the local market, we move towards an environment with more choice, and that is good for business,” he added.

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