Internationalization of the renminbi is unstoppable – expert
David Marsh, chairman and co-founder of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, said China has done much to connect its financial markets with the overseas peers, including the Shanghai-London stock exchange to be launched, and the renminbi internationalization process may be a gradual process but it is unstoppable.
"The stock connect is just one part of this intertwining web of activities that you now see on the financial markets. The inclusion of the A shares and the MSCI index was a major breakthrough. That took years of course to prepare. We have a bond connect as well. So this is part of this edifice of different structures you have now linking the Chinese financial markets with those abroad. The entrance of the renminbi into the SDR in 2016 was a major landmark. So it’s going to be a gradual process with holes and bumps along the way. But it’s absolutely unstoppable. There will now be an international renminbi component of the world economic and financial system," said Marsh.
Marsh says that the ongoing trade tensions may give a backdoor push to the renminbi’s internationalization efforts.
"There’s two things. One, is that there’s going to be lots of unintended consequences and one indeed may well be that Mr Trump is actually giving a backdoor push to the use of the renminbi as an investment currency and also using of world reserve. Just the very fact that the Americans do use their extraterritorial power over the dollar in lots and lots of different ways does make other countries more likely to look at non-dollar currencies to hold their reserves. It also pushes countries into gold for example, we’ve seen that with the Russians," said Marsh.
He noted that the United States is pushing China and Europe closer, which will help the globalization of the renminbi.
"I think Mr Trump being protectionistic towards the Europeans as well will now drive the Europeans and the Chinese to do more things together. So this renminbization of the financial markets we are talking about will now be I think empowered particularly on the continent of Europe. It’s already happening between Britain and China, but I think this will now happen between Germany and China. So, unwittingly and surely Mr Trump hasn’t thought about this and even if he did think about this, he may not understand it. Unwittingly, he is actually helping the globalization of the renminbi," said Marsh.