BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, authorized the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore branch for Renminbi settlements in the country, according to the PBOC Friday.
The decision is in accordance with arrangements between the PBOC and the Monetary Authority of Singapore to strengthen the financial cooperation between the two countries, a PBOC statement said.
This is the first time that the central bank has designated a Chinese yuan clearing bank in a foreign country.
The ICBC had been vying with the Bank of China for clearing-bank status in Singapore since last year. The latter had previously been selected by the PBOC to carry out yuan settlements in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Data from the ICBC showed that by the end of December, the yuan-dominated assets balance at its Singapore branch stood at 15.3 billion yuan (2.44 billion U.S. dollars). The branch's cross-border yuan settlements totaled 94 billion yuan in 2012, up 107 percent year on year.
China has been striving to push forward internationalization of the yuan.
China first allowed cross-border trade settlement in yuan in Hong Kong, Macao and 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2009 before extending it to all countries and regions of the world the following year.