The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) voted last year to include the Chinese yuan, also called the renminbi (RMB), in a special basket of currencies that it will accept. RMB joins the U.S. dollar, British pound sterling, euro, and Japanese yen on the elite list.
The change will not take effect until the third quarter of the year, but it already holds symbolic importance: it is another sign that China is a major player in the global economy. China had been seeking this recognition from the IMF since 2010, but it required a 70 percent majority vote from IMF shareholders.
Many analysts say it will have little short-term effect on world markets, but Japanese bank Nomura predicts that the RMB will become one of the top three major international currencies—alongside the U.S. dollar and the euro—by 2030.
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