Hong Kong-listed stocks are about to be priced in yuan, giving China's currency another boost

CC™ Business News

By Jason Ma

Two dozen Hong Kong-listed stocks will be priced in the yuan on Monday, giving China's currency another boost in global finance.

Alibaba and Tencent will be among the shares that will be traded in both yuan and the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar.

Under the so-called Dual Counter Model program, Hong Kong Stock Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) hopes to attract overseas investors with yuan holdings and eventually mainland Chinese investors, according to Reuters.

Investors with yuan holdings in countries like Russia, which has relied heavily on China's currency since being largely shut out of the global financial system by Western sanction, could also be potential participants.

HKEX will also launch a market-maker program that's meant to minimize the price differences between the two currencies.

Investors can choose to trade using Hong Kong dollars or yuan, which has seen significant volatility lately. So investors trading with the yuan could limit conversion and hedging costs.

In fact, the yuan is at the lowest against the US dollar since November amid a disappointing post-COVID economic recovery. And based on the real effective exchange rate against another currency basket from the Bank of International Settlements, the yuan is actually at the lowest since 2014.

The new Hong Kong trading program comes as Beijing tries to internationalize the yuan and challenge the US dollar's dominance on the world stage.

For example, China and Brazil agreed earlier this year to conduct trade in their own currencies and bypass the US dollar, which is the main currency in international trade, especially commodities.

Meanwhile, Argentina also said it will pay for imports from China in the yuan instead of US dollar, and Beijing has been trying to get countries in the Middle East to price oil in yuan instead of dollars.

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