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Britain seeks to boost yuan trading role in bid for trade center: Osborne

HONG KONG -- Britain is holding talks with China to designate a London clearing bank for the yuan as it tries to become the world's leading center for trading the currency, Chancellor George Osborne said Thursday.

China's currency, also called the renminbi (RMB), is not freely convertible. But the Chinese government is gradually moving towards full convertibility so that the unit might one day rival the U.S. dollar.

Speaking to the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the British finance minister said London had become the center of yuan trading in the West.

“Ultimately, what we all want to see is RMB being used more and more as a currency of choice in the world,” said Osborne.

“So I can tell you today that the UK and Chinese governments are in active discussions about the appointment of a RMB clearing bank in London,” he said, according to a text of his speech.

The move would make RMB transactions in the financial center more efficient and quicker.

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