* Local governments issued 748.5 bln yuan in bonds in Sept
* Special bond issues rose to 739 bln yuan (Adds data on special bond issuance; paragraphs 3-6)
BEIJING, Oct 17 (Reuters) - China’s local government debt issuance stood at 748.5 billion yuan ($108.18 billion) in September, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, taking the outstanding local government debt to 18.26 trillion yuan at the end of that month.
China has capped outstanding local government debt at 21 trillion yuan for 2018, the ministry said in its annual budget report released in March.
Local governments have ramped up issuance of special bonds over the last few months, with data from the People’s Bank of China on Wednesday showing they issued 738.9 billion yuan of special bonds in September.
That compared to 410.6 billion yuan sold in August.
In the first half of the year, more than 300 billion yuan of special bonds were issued, a pace the finance ministry described as “slow”.
The special bonds are usually issued to fund spending on public investment projects. ($1=6.9192 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Clarence Fernandez)