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RMB No. 2 foreign currency held by Taiwanese citizens: poll

TAIPEI -- The Chinese yuan, also known as renminbi (RMB), has emerged as the second most popular foreign currency held by Taiwanese citizens after the U.S. dollar, according to the results of an online survey released Thursday.

The poll, conducted by DBS Bank (Taiwan) Ltd. Dec. 19-26, 2013 among Internet users aged between 30 and 35, found that 85.7 percent of the respondents said they have U.S. bills in their money stashes, while 25 percent said they are holding Chinese yuan.

The Australian dollar ranks third in terms of popularity among local young Internet users, with 19 percent having the currency in their stashes. This is followed by the euro at 16.2 percent and the Japanese yen at 15.6 percent.

The survey further found that local respondents are not very knowledgeable about foreign exchange-related issues.

As many as 94.3 percent of the respondents took part in the foreign exchange-related section of the survey, but their accuracy rate fell below 60 percent, DBS Bank said.

For instance, 68 percent said interest rates are the most important factor when choosing foreign currency investment targets. As a matter of fact, the bank said, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates can have a greater effect on return on investment.

The survey also found that 62 percent of the respondents do not understand the differences among the four most common figures listed on currency boards — cash buying rate, cash selling rate, spot buying rate and spot selling rate.

Among options for investment in foreign currencies, nearly 90 percent said they deposit their foreign currency holdings in banks, while only 38 percent said they have invested in foreign currency-denominated mutual funds and 12.7 percent have invested in foreign currency bonds. Multiple choices were allowed in the survey.

A total of 617 valid samples were collected in the poll, which had a confidence level of over 95 percent and a margin of error of 3.95 percent.

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