Taiwan plans to waive credit ratings for yuan bond issuers

TAIPEI, March 21 Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:44am EDT

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TAIPEI, March 21 (Reuters) - Taiwan's financial regulator said on Thursday it is planning to ease rules for local companies to sell yuan-denominated bonds, a move aimed at catching up with Hong Kong's "dim sum bonds" market.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) will likely waive credit ratings on Taiwan firms who want to issue the RMB bonds, said an official of the securities and futures bureau, which is under the FSC.

No other details or timetable were available, said the official, asking not to be identified as she's not authorized to speak to media.

Authorities in Hong Kong do not require companies to have credit ratings for issuing dim sum bonds, the official said. But more and more companies are tending to get an international rating for their issues.

Bank of China International's statistics showed that 72 percent of the total issuance of dim sum bonds in 2012 had ratings, much higher than the 49 percent in 2011.

The yuan bonds, or RMB bonds, made their debut in Taiwan last month when Chinatrust Financial priced its three-year debt. Deutsche Bank is expected to get FSC approval next week to issue Taiwan's second such bond.

Bond issuance in Taiwan is expected to be active at the initial stage, given strong regulatory momentum to boost offshore yuan business, analysts say.

(Reporting by Lin Miao-jung; Writing by Faith Hung; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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