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UAE, Qatar lead Middle Eastern yuan engagement; Swift

UAE, Qatar lead Middle Eastern yuan engagement; Swift

(29 January 2016 – China) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar lead the Middle East in use of the yuan in direct payments with China and Hong Kong, according to the financial messaging firm Swift.

Last year, the UAE’s use of renminbi comprised 74 percent of all payments by value to China and Hong Kong, up by 52 percent from the previous year.

In Qatar, it accounted for 60 percent, more than double in the same period.

The increased in the engagement can be attributed to several key agreements.

Last year, Qatar became the first country in the Middle East to host a yuan clearing and settlement facility, after a deal between the Qatar Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). In December, the UAE and China signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a clearing centre for the Chinese currency in the country.

“Use of the renminbi has been rising across the Middle East region over the last few years,” said Sido Bestani, the head of Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Swift. “We anticipate these and similar efforts will continue to drive renminbi adoption across the region.”

The yuan last month held the position as the fifth most active currency for global payments by value, accounting for 2.31 per cent of all payments. That is an increase from 2.28 percent market share in November, according to the payment service.

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