Photo: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic
Washington is scrutinizing more and more Chinese investments in the US economy. Photo: Agencies

Anticipation of a move to roll out a yuan-denominated oil contract within the coming months continues to grow, with hedge fund manager Adam Levinson saying Tuesday it will be a “wake up call” for investors.

The launch of the “petro-yuan” will be a “huge story,” Levinson, who is founder of Graticule Asset Management Asia, told Bloomberg.

As David Goldman noted earlier this month in Asia Unhedged, Moscow’s sale of Russia’s S-400 air defense system to Saudi Arabia represents a huge eastward shift for the Kingdom. The increasing importance of Chinese oil imports may have already given China enough leverage to persuade the Saudi’s to accept RMB payment for oil.

Possible anchor investments from Chinese firms in an upcoming Saudi Aramco IPO could provide even more leverage, as Mishaal al Gergawi writes for Foreign Policy:

While this investment may not explicitly require that Saudi Arabia agree to trade in yuan, it would give China leverage toward that goal. For Mohammed bin Salman, Chinese investment in Aramco could kick-start a new economic partnership with Beijing. As part of its economic reform, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan intends to raise foreign direct investment from 3.8 percent of GDP to 5.7 percent, or an additional $12 billion per year.

But even if the end of the dollar’s dominance is in front of us, it may still be far away.

“Game changer it is not — at least not yet,” CNBC reported Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, as saying. “But it is another indicator of the beginning of the glacial, and I emphasize the word glacial, decline of the dollar.”

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