Jon Vollemaere
Jon Vollemaere

RMB Trading in London

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 55 / Recent Events / January, 2014

RMB Trading in London

City & Financial
3rd annual conference on the future of RMB in the global markets
12 November 2013

City of London Corporation
Panel discussion on global RMB developments
Friday 22 November

“When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

This is a quote from Bruce Lee in 1971 – not that life changing until its being quoted by IMF members in reference to the RMB at a livery hall in London right on the Thames. Then it takes on new meaning…..
There’s something going on….. 

The City of London has been very very busy with RMB preparations lately. With not less than two high profile events in November , George and David on the plane to China, and the Lord Mayor’s trip to Hong Kong in Jan. 

If you look at the firepower these events have been mustering you’d be excused into thinking that RMB were about to free float in 2014.

Panellists including Eddie Yue (Deputy Chief Executive, HKMA), Wenjian Fang (CEO, Bank of China (UK)) and Chris Salmon (Executive Director, Bank of England) on one panel and Katherine TSANG (Chairperson of Greater China, Standard Chartered); Mr WANG Jianxi (Member of IMF External Audit Committee); John Greenwood OBE (Chief Economist, Invesco) on the next.

Of course the RMB is not about to open up in 2014 – but there has been some intriguing discussion around what needs to happen before, and what affect it will have when it does. One attendee likened this to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In the late 80’s there were many signals that this was a possibility – much speculation as to whether this would ever happen and how long it would take if if it did and then Bang one morning out of the blue it fell– and everything changed.

The Berlin Wall reunified Germany and paved the way for what would become the Euro, and for all the efforts to break it recently the euro remains the second most important currency worldwide.

The Great Wall of China, was also built for protection and its safety allowed China to grow 28 fold in the last 35 years. Relaxation of that protection will also no doubt create one of the most dominant currencies of our time.

Its relatively agreed that the PBoC will methodically expand the band. Then slowly reduce its active management intervention away from quantitative to corrective measures to maintain stability.

All in an effort to build an interest rate led economy. Deep enough that the home market is attractive to stop a flood of money out, if and when the RMB goes public.

Then the RMB will be like water my friend.