(Xinhua) — A Kenyan bank has opened a new branch that will host a clearing house for Chinese renminbi (RMB) that would allow the settlement of trade deals to help boost economic growth.
The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) said the Premium Branch located at an upscale shopping mall, Yaya Centre, in Nairobi, will benefit traders as it would cut the costs they incur when converting from the Kenyan shilling to the Yuan.
NBK Managing Director Munir Mohamed said during the launch on Wednesday evening that the clearing centre will accelerate trade between the two nations and ensure efficient service.
“We are approaching the issue from a holistic perspective and offering a unique service that will provide an opportunity for traders from Kenya and China to conduct business by making the Chinese currency available without intermediation,” Mohamed said.
He said bilateral trade between Kenya and China which has expanded enormously requires a flawless payment system that does not have to go through another intermediary currency.
“Africa should make sure that the RMB is internationally accepted for conversion from RMB and vice versa in order to balance trade between Africa and China,” Mohamed said.
Experts say the clearing house could boost trade between the two countries by easing commercial transactions as Kenyan exporters normally have payments processed through a lengthy process that involves physically sending Chinese payment cheques back to the country for clearance and payment.