Cash & Liquidity Management
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A Milestone in the RMB Liberalisation Journey

by Helen Sanders, Editor

With China continuing to be a major strategic growth market for corporations of all sizes and industries, many participants in BNP Paribas’ 8th Cash Management University were keen to understand the evolving opportunities to manage RMB more efficiently and integrate RMB balances into regional and global liquidity structures. Bruno Francois, Head of Transaction Banking, Greater China, BNP Paribas outlined some of the emerging opportunities, while Astrid Thorsen, Head of Business Intelligence Solutions, SWIFT then outlined some recent trends and statistics. Finally, Thomas Morel, Asia Treasury Director, Veolia and Meena Dafesh, Director of Treasury, Asia Pacific and MEA, Ingram Micro, discussed how they are leveraging opportunities for domestic and cross-border liquidity in RMB. The workshop was moderated by Helen Sanders, Editor, TMI and Director of Asymmetric Solutions.

Mapping the journey

Bruno Francois, BNP Paribas first summarised the history of RMB liberalisation to date, from the launch of the pilot cross-border trade settlement programme in 2009 through to the launch of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) in September 2013. He also noted the recent expansion from an area of 29km2 to over 120km2 including Lujiazui, the city’s financial hub and the location of a large number of regional headquarters for both multinational and Chinese companies. In addition, new free trade zones in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian were announced in April 2015.

A highlight of this liberalisation journey so far has been the ability to include RMB in cross-border cash pools, as Bruno described,