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By Han Wei / Jan 18, 2019 03:13 AM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Global financial messaging provider Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) will set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Beijing in a move to tap the Chinese financial services market.

The Belgium-based organization, which describes itself on its website as “a global, member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services,” signed a memorandum for a partnership with the Beijing municipal government Wednesday. The new venture will offer localized services in China and accept the yuan as a settlement currency, along with the U.S. dollar and the euro.

SWIFT also signed a letter of intent with China's Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System (CIPS) to deepen cooperation in cross-border payment services.

Gottfried Leibbrandt, SWIFT’s chief executive officer, said the new China venture is the company’s latest effort to support the yuan’s internationalization.

China's cross-border yuan settlement business reached 5.11 trillion yuan ($755 billion) in 2018, up from 4.36 trillion yuan in 2017, according to the central bank.

Related: How Did an Ambitious Cross-Border Settlement Firm’s Dream Turn Sour?

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