The number of yuan-deposit accounts have risen sharply since introduction 17 months ago. HSBC says as of the end of April, 60,000 accounts have been opened locally, with many clients expressing interest in additional yuan-denominated products. Total yuan deposits held by Hong Kong institutions increased 11.3 per cent in April to 16.7 billion yuan, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. 'The response has been fairly good,' said an HSBC spokeswoman. 'We are also getting customers looking at time deposits.' Banks in Hong Kong have been permitted to offer yuan deposits to retail customers since February last year. HSBC yuan deposits pay 0.45 per cent interest, while the Hong Kong dollar rate is 0.75 per cent. Yuan-denominated time deposits at Standard Chartered earn 0.6 per cent over one to three months, and 0.7 per cent over six months. Preferred customers are granted an additional 5 basis points. Opening an account is fairly simple, but there are some restrictions on fund flows. The maximum amount that can transferred on a daily basis is capped at 20,000 yuan. Withdrawal or deposit of notes is capped at 6,000 yuan per transaction, with no limit on the number of daily transactions. It is possible to set automatic transfer orders using services such as HSBC's forex switching service Financial advisers say investors looking to buy yuan notes as part of a speculative bet on revaluation should be careful. Stephen Gollop, chief executive of investment adviser Bridgewater, doubts China will revalue within the next year, which means investors could face lost opportunity in higher-yielding assets. 'You don't want a lot of money in dead assets waiting for something to happen,' he says. Investors should consider euros, sterling or Australian dollars, 'but if you're holding long-term cash in Hong Kong dollars or US dollars, then renminbi is better.' Eddie Wong, a strategist for ABN Amro, doubts China will invite speculation by a one-off or gradual appreciation of its currency. 'There's more likely to be a peg to a basket of currencies,' he says. Most analysts believe there is little risk the yuan would depreciate if it moves from the US dollar peg. 'We've been getting a lot of interest in yuan denominated mutual funds,' says Phil Neilson, of ING Financial Planning. 'One still has to be careful. History has proven that when nine out of 10 people are getting into something, that's when you should be getting out.' ING expects the yuan to be modestly revalued against a basket of currencies, with pressure to build after first-quarter trade data revealed an enormous trade surplus, the second largest on record.