By now, China has become one of the most important trading partners of the European Union. In parallel with the liberalisation of China’s capital account and exchange rate regime, the transformation of the Chinese savings portfolio and financing structure can provide countries of the EU with financing and diversification opportunities. Hungary plays a special role in China’s relations with the region: the Magyar Nemzeti Bank has been the only central bank in Central and Eastern Europe to have concluded a foreign exchange swap agreement with the People’s Bank of China; Hungary is where the only Chinese commercial bank operates within the region; and in recent years Hungary has become one of the most important regional target countries of Chinese investment capital flows and migration.
After reviewing the actions taken by the members of the European System of Central Banks participating in renminbi settlements, the MNB has started to develop the financial infrastructure and institutional structure as part of the Hungarian Central Bank’s Renminbi Programme. This will facilitate the utilisation of advantages arising from the renminbi internationalisation and due to the role of Budapest in the region it can generate cross-border market activity and income for both Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe.
In connection with the Central Bank Renminbi Programme, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank will launch the Budapest Renminbi Initiative in 2015. The purpose of the Initiative is to expand the investment spectrum and financing sources of Hungary. Important goals of MNB with the programme are to create money-, foreign exchange and capital market infrastructures, develop the settlement system and start negotiations about Chinese capital market licences in cooperation with the major stakeholders of renminbi settlements in the financial, corporate and government sector.
Within the framework of the Central Bank Renminbi Programme (JRP), the MNB will examine the following questions in 2015:
- renminbi foreign exchange reserve portfolio,
- central bank renminbi liquidity instrument to deal with market disturbances,
- development of the renminbi settlement infrastructure,
- financial stability and supervisory issues related to the use of the renminbi and the cross-border activity of Chinese banks.