Following news of the imminent deal between the development banks of China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa for each to lend its own currency into the other countries, comes news of another piece of financial infrastructure for the emerging world.

Citigroup has opened a Latin America trade desk in Shanghai to help clients from the south with all their trade finance, payments and settlement issues as they export and import to and from China and Asia more widely.

The move is a further sign of the rapid development of trading flows between emerging markets that skip out both the western world and the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

At a meeting in China last year, the five development banks involved in the intra-group lending plan - reported in today’s FT – had called for a broader international currency system.

Citi claims to be among the first to launch such a set of services that are specific to the market needs of both Latin America and Asia.

“Our knowledge and understanding of the fast-paced changes in Emerging Markets to Emerging Markets flows allow us to develop best-in-class solutions and value-added propositions that best address these market trends and the needs of both sides of the trade transaction,” said Renato Faria, Citi’s transaction services head for Latin America & Mexico.

Citi’s decision to site the desk in Shanghai also underlines the bank’s ongoing efforts to demonstrate to the authorities in China that it has a long term commitment to helping develop financial services in the country.

Related reading:
China: RMB credits for the Brics, beyondbrics
China offers other Brics renminbi loans, FT

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