Growing demand has led China's yuan to overtake the Russian rouble as a currency used for global payments, according to SWIFT, a messaging system used by international banks.
SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, said on Wednesday that use of the yuan in January jumped 24 percent from December, enabling it to capture 0.63 percent of global payments, an all-time high.
That made it the 13th most-used currency overall, ahead of the rouble and the Danish krone, according to SWIFT.
A year ago, the yuan was used in 0.25 percent of all global payments, putting it in the 20th place among currencies. The year-on-year increase in use of the yuan for payments, as measured by transaction value, was 171 percent.
In contrast, use of the rouble in January declined 5.4 percent from December. While its share of the global payment market was 0.56 percent, up from 0.52 percent in January 2012, the rouble fell to 15th place among currencies from 14th a year ago. Danish krone displaced the rouble, sliding into 14th from 13th.
The Hong Kong dollar moved into ninth place, with 1.02 percent of global payments, up from 0.95 percent and the No 10 spot a year earlier.
The SWIFT report confirms that the Chinese mainland becoming the world's second-largest economy has sparked greater use of its currency.
James Wills, a senior business manager for SWIFT, said in an interview that the yuan is "slowly increasing" its share of the world market.
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