BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Banking multinational Standard Chartered said Monday its Renminbi Globalization Index (RGI) ended 2013 at 1,377 in December, up 5.9 percent from the previous month and 84.1 percent year on year, driven by rising deposits and cross-border payments.
Expansion of new offshore centers, a further policy push and appreciation of the Chinese currency Renminbi (RMB), or yuan, will remain as key drivers for the index this year. "We expect the RGI to increase another 60 percent to reach 2,200 by year end," the London bank said in a statement.
RGI, a comprehensive index that measures the internationalization of the offshore RMB across markets, is the first industry benchmark that effectively tracks the progress of RMB business activity, according to the bank.
It offers corporates and investors a quantifiable view of the latest trends, size and levels of offshore activity that are driving RMB adoption, the bank said.
The rise of the index re-accelerated in the fourth quarter, triggered by yuan appreciation and the liberalization in cross-border RMB lending regulations, it said.
Standard Chartered forecast the currency could appreciate more than 2 percent against the U.S. dollar by the end of 2014, which bodes well for more RMB deposit accumulation in offshore markets this year.
By the end of 2014, RMB deposits in Hong Kong are likely to hit 1.15 to 1.2 trillion yuan (188.5 to 196.7 billion U.S. dollars), translating into a 34 to 40-percent increase, while Taiwan's could reach at least 250 billion yuan, the bank said.
The prospect of yuan appreciation and ample offshore liquidity has lent support to the dim sum bond market amid weak market sentiment.
January primary issuance hit a monthly record high of 63 billion yuan, and Standard Chartered expects strong primary issuance of 550 to 580 billion yuan for 2014, it said.
In 2013, London widened its lead over Singapore, in terms of both average daily offshore RMB foreign exchange turnover and yuan cross-border payments, which offset London's lack of RMB deposit growth.
London and Singapore now account for 13.4 percent and 9.7 percent respectively of activity tracked by the RGI, versus 10.6 percent and 10.7 percent a year ago.
Hong Kong, which started its offshore RMB business in February 2004 and was the first mover in offshore yuan business, remained the biggest offshore RMB center, Standard Chartered said.
The multinational launched the RGI in November 2012. The RGI's base value is 100 and was set on Dec. 31, 2010. The index covers the top four markets in offshore RMB business -- namely China's Hong Kong and Taiwan, London, and Singapore.
It measures business growth in four key areas -- deposits (denoting store of wealth), dim sum bonds and certificate of deposits (as vehicles for capital raising), trade settlement and other international payments (unit of international commerce) and foreign exchange (unit of exchange).