A total of 149 central banks have increased their Chinese yuan holdings by 32.6% in the second quarter, despite the currency's depreciation against the U.S. dollar, IMF figures have shown.
Total foreign exchange reserves in the yuan climbed to $193.38 billion in the second quarter from $145.88 billion in the first quarter, according to the IMF's quarterly report on the currency composition of official foreign exchange.
This marked the fourth straight quarter of increase of yuan reserves of the 149 banks where the yuan's share of their total forex reserves rose to 1.84% from 1.07%. As of end of September, the yuan's share exceeded for the first time that of the Australian dollar, IMF data showed.
U.S. dollar holdings still accounted for the biggest share in the currency composition of official foreign exchange at $6.551 trillion in the second quarter, up from $6.498 trillion in the first quarter. Euro holdings came in second at $2.132 trillion, up from $2.122 trillion.
The yuan's inclusion in the IMF's Special Drawing Rights currency basket, an international reserve asset formed to supplement the official reserves of the organizations' member countries, has helped boost the yuan's role in global reserves, the state-run China Daily reported, citing Mei Dongzhou, an associate professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics.
Mei also warned of the risks associated with cross-border capital flows that comes with greater yuan internationalization.