TORONTO Oct 18 Canadian businesses lag their
global counterparts in using the Chinese renminbi, even after
the launch last year of North America's first yuan trading hub,
according to an HSBC survey released on Tuesday.
The bank said usage of the Chinese currency by Canadian
companies doing business with mainland China rose to 7 percent
of those surveyed from 3 percent in 2015.
This was below the global average of 24 percent and suggests
Canadian companies may be missing an opportunity to increase
sales to the world's second-largest economy, it said.
Using the local currency "can improve relationships or
attract new buyers to a company's products. And clearly
businesses in other markets are adjusting," Linda Seymour, head
of commercial banking for HSBC Bank Canada, said in a statement.
Canadian businesses are lagging in using the Chinese
currency despite the 2015 launch of North America's first yuan
hub in Toronto, which enables the processing of yuan payments
outside of China.
Activity in the hub's first year fell short of the
heightened levels expected at its launch and most of the
transactions came from the United States, an Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) executive said in
The Toronto hub may face increased competition in North
America after China said in June that it and the United States
would each pick a qualified bank to conduct yuan clearing
business in the United States.
China is Canada's second largest trading partner. In
September, the two countries said they would start exploratory
talks on a free trade pact.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Richard Chang)