Shanghai Gains Muscles as Leading Financial Center

Shanghai Gains Muscles as Leading Financial Center

Shanghai has become the nation’s financial center and a global center for yuan trading, pricing and clearing, officials said recently.

Cross-border yuan business consolidated Shanghai’s position as a global yuan center, said Zhang Xin, deputy director of People’s Bank of China Shanghai Headquarters.

The city’s cross-border trade settlement in yuan reached 2.7 trillion yuan (US$415 billion) last year, the most in China. Yuan now makes up 30 percent of Shanghai’s balance of international payments, he said, adding that the city’s cross-border yuan payment system has gone online.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, approved to set up the Shanghai Insurance Exchange last year. More financial platforms will be created here, said Zheng Yang, director of the Shanghai Office of Financial Services.

Shanghai’s financial transactions reached 1,462.7 trillion yuan last year, 3.5 times that of 2010, Zheng said, noting that BRICS New Development Bank was inaugurated in the city. Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Agriculture Bank of China all opened new centers here.

Many financial institutions, such as China Insurance Investment Fund and China Minsheng Investment Co Ltd have moved to Shanghai, bringing the number of registered financial firms to 1,478 at the end of 2015, 429 more than in 2010.

China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone introduced the free trade account, yuan’s convertibility under the capital account, limited currency exchanges for overseas projects, and interest rate liberalization for foreign currency deposits. Thirteen reform measures in the FTZ have been copied to other places in China.

Shanghai FTZ leads the country in cross-border yuan payment and in efforts to facilitate investment and trade, liberalize interest rates, carry out the forex system reform, and streamline financial supervision.

People's Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission are working with the municipal government to monitor cross-border capital flows to fight money laundering, financial aid for terrorist groups, and tax evasions.
The officials said Shanghai will become one of the world’s leading financial markets by 2020 by banking on its yuan products and services.
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