The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that officials in Beijing will soon designate a Chinese bank in the city-state to clear renminbi trading, the Financial Times reported. The move will allow Singapore’s banks to tap mainland renminbi directly, instead of purchasing the currency in Hong Kong or via mainland banks. Many expect the appointed clearing bank in Hong Kong to be either the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC; 601398.SH, 1398.HK) or Bank of China (601988.SH, 3988.HK), though officials did not specify what financial products would be offered. Only the Bank of China in Hong Kong is currently allowed to clear renminbi transactions outside the mainland. While this latest development is sure to deepen the longstanding rivalry between Singapore and Hong Kong, analysts say Hong Kong is set to retain its position as China’s offshore renminbi hub for some time yet.