Yuan-clearing service ignites bond market

Yuan-clearing service ignites bond market

The move by a branch of the giant Chinese bank ICBC to start yuan-clearing services here on Monday ignited the bond market.

HSBC Singapore got the ball rolling with a two-year fixed rate bond offering a yield of 2.25 per cent per annum.

The bank plans to raise 500 million yuan (S$103 million) to finance its expansion of yuan-based lending assets.

Mr Matthew Cannon, head of global markets at HSBC Singapore, said: "This issuance will help open the market to other issuers looking to fund themselves internationally in Chinese yuan." He added that it will also offer new investment opportunities for the wealth-management industry here.

Besides the bond issue, HSBC Singapore has also completed a number of cross-border settlements to China and Hong Kong via the new yuan clearing facility for a number of its key commodities clients such as R1 International and Julong Group.

Standard Chartered Bank also raised 1 billion yuan through its three-year senior unsecured offshore-yuan bond issuance, with a coupon of 2.625 per cent per annum.

The bond was more than three times oversubscribed from 75 investors across Asia.

United Overseas Bank economist Jimmy Koh said in a report that ICBC Singapore's yuan-clearing business marks a significant step in making the Chinese currency a more international one.

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