Just days after China's (denied) threat to slow/stop buying US Treasuries, and just days before the launch of China's petro-yuan futures contract, Germany's central bank confirmed it would include China's Renminbi in its reserves.
The FT reports that Andreas Dombret, a member of Deutsche Bundesbank’s executive board, said at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong on Monday that the central bank had “decided to include the RMB in our currency reserves”.
He said: “The RMB is used increasingly as part of central banks’ foreign exchange reserves; for example, the European Central Bank included the RMB [as a reserve currency].”
The Bundesbank’s six-member board took the decision to invest in renminbi assets in mid-2017, but it was not publicly announced at the time. No investments have been made yet; preparations for purchases are still ongoing.
The inclusion in the German central bank’s reserves basket underscored China’s increasing prominence in the global financial landscape, and reflected policies aimed at making the currency more freely tradable internationally.
Mr Dombret said:
“The notable development from the European point of view over the past few years has been the growing international role of the RMB in global financial markets.”
The offshore Yuan strengthened on the news overnight - pushing to its strongest in over 2 years...
And as Les Echoes reports, while the Bundesbank wants to integrate the yuan into its foreign exchange reserves, the Banque de France is already using it as a currency of diversification.
The Banque de France has raised a corner of the veil on its strategy of managing foreign exchange reserves.
"The foreign currency holdings remain overwhelmingly invested in US dollars, with diversification to a limited number of international currencies such as the Chinese renminbi."
Which currency would you rather hold as a stable reserve?
The US Dollar has been quite volatile over the last 18 months against a broad basket of its largest trading partners.
The Chinese Renminbi, however, has been very stable over the last 18 months against a broad basket of its largest trading partners (despite volatility against the dollar).
As a reminder, last week, the People’s Bank of China decided to drop a mechanism it recently created to support the renminbi and safeguard it against capital flight, in a sign of rising confidence in the currency. Mr Dombret said the move was “something which we welcome very much”.