Beijing may expand the use of renminbi for trade settlements with Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported, citing comments from the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Officials from the central bank and the China Banking Regulatory Commission are considering giving more mainland companies the right to use renminbi in trades with Hong Kong, as well as promoting the use of the currency in trade with neighboring countries. Late last year, the State Council began a pilot program to allow Hong Kong and Macau to use renminbi to settle deals with designated companies in Guangdong and in the Yangtze River Delta area. Beijing has been pursuing the long-term goal of developing the renminbi as an international currency, but is unlikely to give up its tight control in the short term. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said on Tuesday that China would keep the currency’s exchange rate basically stable, and at a "reasonable and balanced level."