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Yuan trade settlements encouraged in SAR

By Li Tao, Sophie He and Chen Jia in Hong Kong  (China Daily)

08:17, June 28, 2012

Vice-President Xi Jinping, accompanied by Hong Kong Chief Executive-Elect Leung Chun-ying, talks with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang at the National Museum of China in Beijing on Wednesday. The museum is featuring an exhibition celebrating Hong Kong's achievements in the past 15 years. Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service

The central government said on Wednesday that it will encourage foreign investors to use China's currency to conduct trade settlements and investment in Hong Kong.

The central government will also push forward joint ventures for stock exchanges in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, as well as introduce exchange-traded funds on both the Hong Kong and mainland stock markets.

The moves are part of a package of policies for Hong Kong ahead of the 15th anniversary of its return to China on July 1.

The development of Hong Kong's offshore yuan businesses accelerated rapidly last year, as the total yuan trade settlement value in Hong Kong increased more than four times over 2010, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in a document released in late February.

As a prime platform for offshore yuan trade settlement, Hong Kong's banks handled a record 1.91 trillion yuan ($300 billion) in such trade last year, up 419 percent from 369.2 billion yuan a year earlier, said the city's de facto central bank.

In 2011, China's trade settled in yuan amounted to 2.08 trillion yuan, which was about 9 percent of the country's total imports and exports for the year, according to the People's Bank of China.

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