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Policy bank to issue bonds
( 2002-05-16 10:13 ) (1 )

The China Development Bank (CDB), the country's largest policy bank will likely issue financial bonds to Chinese citizens and domestic institutional investors soon.

The bank is still waiting for approval from the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.

"(We) hope to get the approval as early as possible," said Chen Yuan, CDB governor, during the 25th annual conference of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP).

Once approved, the CDB will be the only Chinese bank authorized to issue financial bonds to the public.

Bankers and officials from nearly 30 development financing institutions in over 20 countries and regions in Asia and the Pacific region gathered in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss the strategy of development financial institutions (DFI) in the future.

Isoa Kalumaira, chairman of the ADFIAP said that the DFIs, including the CDB, will continue to play a critical role in promoting economic development in their countries by providing long-term funds for large projects, and they should also take measures to meet market challenges.

"The CDB's public financial bond will be a quasi-government bond, because of the low risks and stable returns. It is a highly safe investment tool," said Gao Xinguo, an official with CDB's Bureau of Funds.

The CDB's non-performance loan (NPL) ratio is now down to 3.58 per cent measured by the five-category assets classification method.

Though the amount of the public financial bond has yet to be decided, Gao said that a good-sized proportion of the bank's 200 billion yuan (US$24 billion) lending power will bring about certain positive effects to stimulate domestic investment.

Some 700 billion yuan (US$84 billion) in private savings still lie in Chinese banks for lack of safe investment channels for individual investors.

The issue of the new bond will also help accelerate the reform of China's financial sector by broadening the profit-making methods of domestic banks.

The CDB is a solely State-owned policy bank established in 1994 to finance China's key projects in infrastructure construction, the pillar industries, and basic industries.

The funds raised by the new bonds will be poured into these key projects, but only some lucrative projects with reliable guarantees will be selected in order to reduce risks, Guo added.

The financial bonds issued by the CDB are currently only limited to financial institutions, including domestic commercial banks, insurance companies and some securities companies.



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