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TRADE FINANCE | Staff Reporter, Malaysia

Malaysia's RMB use increased 68% over the last 12 months

It's the second most used currency for payments with China and Hong Kong.

Recent SWIFT data shows that Malaysia's use of the RMB for payments with Mainland China and Hong Kong increased by 68% over the last 12 months and by 214% over the last three years. Since January 2013 , the Chinese currency moved from position number three to position number two for payments by value, overtaking the Malaysian Ringgit.

"Despite volatility in China , and widely reported economic slowdown, the South-East Asian markets, such as Singapore , Thailand and Malaysia , have been enhancing RMB payment capabilities, including the establishment of RMB clearing centres. This growth reflects the extensive trading relationships between South-East Asia and China , which continues to be very important for the region," says Michael Moon , Head of Payments, Asia-Pacific at SWIFT.

In January 2016 , the RMB remains the fifth most active currency for global payments by value and accounted for 2.45% of global payments, a slight increase from 2.31% in December 2015 . Its activity share is higher than last month even though RMB payments decreased by 5.7% in value, while at a global level, all currencies decreased by 11.2% in value over the same period.

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