Business / Markets

Bank offers direct exchange between yuan, baht

By Hu Yongqi in Kunming (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-02 08:09

Bank offers direct exchange between yuan, baht

People line up to buy Thai Baht at a foreign currency exchange kiosk in Bangkok.[Photo/]

A bank in Yunnan province has started to provide direct currency exchanges between Chinese yuan and Thai baht, a move aimed at further opening up Southwest China to Southeast Asia.

Tourism agencies say there is an increasing demand for the Thai currency, with a visa-waiver agreement between China and Thailand in discussion.

The service, launched on Monday by Fudian Bank, a major commercial bank in the province, allows individuals and enterprises to visit its headquarters to convert yuan into baht by showing their identity cards, said Zhang Jinbin, general manager of the bank's international business department.

"According to the regulations of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, each citizen can trade yuan worth $50,000 annually at most for foreign currency bills. The counters at our bank will check the exchange balance of each client and make the exchange for them free of charge," Zhang said.

The guideline of the Yunnan-Guangxi Comprehensive Financial Reform Pilot Zone, released in November, said Yunnan province and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will launch closer ties with Southeast Asia as a popular area for yuan cross-border settlement in five years.

At the end of August, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange gave approval to Fudian Bank for the cross-border transportation of foreign currency bills. On Dec 27, the first batch of baht was carried to Kunming, ready for clients on Monday.

Zhu Bowei, general manager of the Kunming International Scenic Travel Co Ltd, said the new move will stimulate tourism with Thailand.

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