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ANZ, Westpac, HSBC to be market makers for the direct convertibility of the NZ dollar and renminbi

ANZ, Westpac, HSBC to be market makers for the direct convertibility of the NZ dollar and renminbi

ANZ, HSBC and Westpac will be market makers for the direct convertibility of the New Zealand dollar and the renminbi on the Chinese foreign exchange trading system. This follows an agreement between the New Zealand and Chinese governments to allow banks to directly trade the two currencies.

Westpac says making the Kiwi convertible with the renminbi will reduce transactional costs including currency conversion costs, and over time increase liquidity for currency deals between New Zealand and China. The licences come from the People's Bank of China.

The announcement of currency convertibility was made during Prime Minister John Key's visit to China. The NZ dollar is among the first half dozen currencies to be made fully convertible with the renminbi after the US dollar, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Russian rouble and Malaysian ringgit.

When the Australian deal was revealed last April, ANZ and Westpac were also announced as the two initial market makers. HSBC also quickly gained approval.

Touted benefits for New Zealand businesses include cutting out the need to cross through the US dollar, reduced costs of trading, and increased visibility of New Zealand business in China. It will also let New Zealand and Chinese companies invoice each other in renminbi and allow payments to be cleared directly between banks in New Zealand and China.

“China-New Zealand trade is a long term growth story. As one of the first banks to offer direct convertibility for mainland China transactions, Westpac plays an important role in this connexion, making it easier for our customers to do business in China,” Westpac NZ CEO Peter Clare said.

ANZ China CEO Charles Li said direct currency trading has economic, trade and investment significance for both countries as it will improve trade flows and reduce costs for companies doing business between New Zealand and China.

“I’m pleased ANZ China has received approval to act as a market maker as the relationship between China and New Zealand continues to develop. As the largest bank in New Zealand with the largest footprint in China, we’re in a unique position to really strengthen trade flows," said Li.

HSBC also said it had received approval from the People’s Bank of China to be one of the first market-makers for direct trading of the renminbi and New Zealand dollar  in China’s onshore interbank foreign exchange market.

According to Westpac, the renminbi is now ranked the second most used currency in trade finance by SWIFT.

Here's a statement from Key

Prime Minister John Key and China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, today announced the launch of direct trading of the New Zealand dollar against the Chinese renminbi in the Chinese onshore market.

Mr Key is in Beijing on the first day of his official visit to China, and met Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People.

“It’s great to have been in Beijing to witness the conclusion of negotiations to launch direct trading of the New Zealand and Chinese currencies, which I kicked off during talks with President Xi on the margins of the Bo’ao Forum in April 2013.

“I am delighted that the project has been brought to a successful conclusion so quickly. It highlights the strong relationship and goodwill between New Zealand and China,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says this important step will make doing business with China easier by reducing the costs of converting between the two currencies, and will stimulate trade and investment.

“Direct trading will also increase the integration between the New Zealand and Chinese financial systems, and deepen the economic relationship between the two countries. During 2013, trade in goods between China and New Zealand was worth $18.2bn, up 25.2% on the previous year. China is now New Zealand’s top destination for exports of goods,” says Mr Key.

The New Zealand dollar is only the sixth currency to be directly traded with the renminbi. The other currencies are the US dollar, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Russian rouble and Malaysian ringgit. Previously, organisations that needed to trade the New Zealand dollar against the renminbi had to do so indirectly with two trades against a third currency, usually the US dollar.

The Prime Minister says the New Zealand government continues to work with New Zealand banks, other financial institutions, and exporters and importers who trade with China, to raise awareness of the benefits of pricing in the two currencies and how direct trading can help.

“Today’s announcement will further reduce the costs of trade and investment transactions between New Zealand and China, increasing the ease of doing business for the benefit of businesspeople in both countries,” says Mr Key.

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6 Comments

Bloody Key..still searching for parity with AUD.

How high is the NZD/USD going to go???? 86.3c at the moment?

Ren min bi, translated into English, means 'People's money'.
 
I am not being spurious here but having a good name/brand sometime helps a lot in market development.

An important question . So can I now borrow Yuan at 2% from HSBC ( Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp) in the Queen St Auckland Branch , and finance NZ property with it, using the NZ property as collateral  for the Yuan denominted loan ?
Given the Yuan is a managed currency which the Chinese Govt. will constantly  keep low in value , there is virtually no currency risk at all .
There is a real opprtunity of notional currency gain on the back of the strengthening Kiwi  , if anything
After all thats what thousands and thousands of Chinese "investors" are doing right now in NZ, to the detriment of ordinary aspirant New Zealand home-buyers  

you cannot borrow RMB at 2% from HSBC. 
 
Mortgage rate in China is around 5-6% maybe higher? Also you can only move 50k USD per person per year out of China after you borrow.

Yeah took me hours in the Bank of China main branch in Kunming just to get US$500 worth of Yuan converted into $USD.  The fx charages i must have paid on that would have been immense.  The bank couldn't charge my card in $US directly, so from a GBP bank account i withdrew CNY (fx1) from an ATM outside the branch.  Took it inside and converted it to USD (fx2), then went across the border to Laos and convert to Kip (fx3).
 
$500 was the maximum people were permitted to convert to foreign currency.  I'm surprised you can now move 50K already.

You might not think there is much risk of the yuan rising, but there is still the risk of the NZD falling.

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