HONG KONG Feb 26 The International Finance
Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, said on Wednesday
it will issue a 1 billion yuan ($163 million) dim sum bond in
London next month, an incremental step to enhance London's role
in offshore yuan business and promote the yuan beyond Hong Kong.
The bond will be listed on the London Stock Exchange,
becoming the largest dim sum bond listed there by a
Competition among potential offshore yuan centres, including
Taiwan, Singapore, London and Luxembourg, has intensified as
Beijing steps up efforts to promote the wider use of its
While London's position as the world's biggest foreign
exchange and bond trading centre gives it advantages, regional
rivals also want a part of the growing yuan business.
The British and Chinese governments are in active
discussions about setting up a clearing bank in London for
China's currency, Britain's finance minister George Osborne said
last week in Hong Kong.
"This issuance will help demonstrate the strong demand from
international investors for offshore renminbi bonds, while
providing an alternative source of renminbi funding for
investment in the country," Jingdong Hua, IFC vice president and
treasurer, said in a statement.
The IFC tapped China's onshore bond market as early as 2005,
when it became the first issuer of Panda bonds, yuan-denominated
bonds raised in mainland China by a non-Chinese entity.
It also issued its first yuan-denominated discount note,
equivalent to about $50 million with a three-month maturity, in
the offshore yuan market last February.
The offshore yuan bond market has grown rapidly since the
first dim sum bond was issued in July 2007. Total issuance
volume amounted to nearly 50 billion yuan year to date,
according to Thomson Reuters statistics.
HSBC, ICBC , and JP Morgan
have been appointed as lead arrangers for the bond.