London Metal Exchange to accept yuan

It looks like nothing is going to stop the yuan’s growing internationalization.

The London Metal Exchange, the world’s oldest exchange that sets the price of commodities from copper to aluminum, will now accept yuan as collateral against trades, reported The Financial Times.

This is a big boost for China quest to get the International Monetary Fund to accept the yuan as a global reserve currency.

In the wake of approval from the Bank of England, the exchange will, effecitve immediately, accept offshore renminbi — the yuan’s official name — as cash collateral for its clearing house. It currently accepts the US dollar, sterling, euro and yen.

The 138-year-old exchange was bought by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing in 2012.

The move was inevitable, if not obvious. With China the world’s largest consumer and producer of most metals, more Chinese companies have been using the LME to trade commodities and hedge their exposure to fluctuating prices. Because of this, members of LME Clear wanted the offshore yuan to be included on the list of accepted cash collateral.

Trading volumes of yuan in London more than doubled last year, according to the City of London Corporation. Because of this London has tried to position itself as a center for offshore yuan trading, in competition with Paris and Frankfurt, said the Financial Times.

Bank of China’s investment bank, known as BOCI, is building a team of commodities traders in London to help the parent bank’s industrial clients hedge and trade on the LME, reported The Financial Times.

BOCI will be the first member to submit offshore yuan as collateral, the LME said. Bank of China will be the settlement bank.

“This demonstrates the commitment of BOC to develop itself as a truly global bank,” Huabin Wang, deputy general manager at Bank of China’s London branch, told the Financial Times.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China

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