Stanbic Bank Botswana, the unlisted commercial banking house in the country, said it will offer clients the ability to make payments in Renminbi (RMB) when importing goods from China and receiving RMB proceeds in their account when exporting to China.
The bank, which is part of the Standard Bank group, including its affiliate Banks’ clients may now open RMB accounts in Africa for the purpose of settlement of RMB proceeds relating to import and export trades with enterprises in China in designated provinces and cities.
The areas include Beijing, Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Hubei, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Yunnan, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Tibet and Xinjiang.
Craig Bond, Chief Executive, Standard Bank in China said trade between China and Africa has seen massive growth in the last decade, and Standard Bank ÔÇô with its African roots – is uniquely placed to assist in the two-way trade flows between China and Africa.
“The ability of Standard Bank customers to settle in RMB has been made possible through Standard Bank’s strategic alliance with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and now enables Standard Bank clients to mitigate their exposure to the US Dollar or other foreign currencies,” said Bond.
“Standard Bank has a physical presence in 17 African countries, with dealing rooms and trade facilities in London, Hong Kong, New York and Johannesburg.
“These facilities not only allow for around the clock service, but also provide end to end expertise. Customers involved in cross-border trade with China will be able to denominate their transactions with China in RMB, reducing risk for the importer/exporter and thereby potentially improving the competitiveness and stability of pricing.”
Leina Gabaraane, Managing Director, Stanbic Bank Botswana, said the move comes at a time when most Batswana are turning to China for trade, and the number of Chinese investors in the country is also growing rapidly.
“So there was a need to avail a product that will give clients flexibility to convert the local currency to Yuan as an option and protection against currency fluctuations,” he said.
In nominal terms, Africa’s trade with China has doubled every three years since 2000. Trade with China currently accounts for more than two thirds of Africa’s trade with the BRIC countries.