Friday, March 8, 2013

India gets into the currency swap game

India and Bhutan recently announced a currency swap agreement amounting to $0.1 billion to "further economic cooperation." 

This swap agreement allows the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan to withdraw tranches in dollars and euros as well as rupees. 

The same piece goes on to say that in May 2012, the Royal Bank of India had announced intention to enter currency swap agreements to the aggregate total of $2 billion with SAARC member countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

The piece did not say whether Bhutan is the first or only member country to have accepted the invitation. The Bhutan central bank gave a clear and comprehensive explanation of the advantage of the swap agreement from Bhutan's point of view.

China has been entering into bilateral swap agreements with a large number of countries involving significantly larger amounts. These agreements involve their respective local currency and is a way of avoiding exposure to and cost of having to convert to dollars before settling their trade accounts.

Singapore just doubled their swap agreement with Bank of China to a total of 400 billion yuan or $48.2 billion. Singapore will be the third offshore centers (along with Hong Kong and Taiwan) to include the Renminbi in their foreign currency exchange market. London is expected soon to become the fourth offshore center to include the Chinese currency.

I have been tracking China's swap agreements as shown on my blog.


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