The Chinese yuan returned to its position as the fifth biggest payment currency in the world after sinking to the seventh in February, as more foreign companies shifted in settling trade or boosted their investment in China assets. The yuan accounted for 2.03 per cent of payments worldwide in March, following the US dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen, according to the monthly SWFIT report released on Thursday. Yuan payments increased in value by 33.5 per cent last month compared to February, while at a global level, all currencies increased in value by 18.9 per cent during the same period, it said. Canada was in particular a rising star in terms of the growth of yuan payment, where the value of payment between March 2013 and March 2015 increased by 213 per cent during the past two years. The country currently ranks the 15th in the world as an offshore yuan centre. The appointment of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as the clearing bank in Toronto is expected to help boost Canada’s ranking among offshore RMB countries. “The appointment of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as the clearing bank in Toronto makes Canada the first RMB clearing centre and trading hub in the Americas,” says Chris Church, Chief Executive, Americas and Global Head of Securities, SWIFT. In March 2015, 10.2 per cent of all direct payments between Canada and China/Hong Kong were in renminbi, compared to 3.9 per cent two years ago. The sharp increase now makes yuan the second most active currency used by Canada for payments with China and Hong Kong, after the Canadian Dollar.