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Easing access to China's bond market

By Na Li in Toronto | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-04-13 11:09

A couple of companies are working together to open up access to China's bond market.

At a seminar called Canada and China: Financial Connections Through RMB Markets in Toronto last Thursday, Xu Zhen, chairman of the board of Shanghai Clearing House (SHCH), said SHCH will work with Canada's TMX Group to expedite cross-border investments.

"I come to Canada to tell the story of China's bond market, and we hope to learn from international experiences so that we can integrate into the world capital market," Xu said.

According to Xu, Canadian and North American investors will be given easier access to China's bond market by exploring ways to link securities registration and custody functions with TMX Group.

In addition, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) will further deregulate the bond market by improving legal, accounting, auditing, tax and credit-rating policies and strengthen communications with overseas investors.

"The deregulation depends on how open China's bond market is to the world," said Xu. "But absolutely, we are open to the world."

Supervised by China's central bank, the state-owned clearinghouse and TMX announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish a cooperative relationship to share information on each other's businesses and explore opportunities for collaboration last year in Toronto.

As China moves to make its $9 trillion domestic bond market more global, it has stepped up efforts to open up its bond market - the world's third largest - to foreign investors in an effort to promote international use of the RMB.

"In the 1990s, when you talked about investment, most people would think you should invest in Western countries. But today you have more choices," said Huang Hong, vice-president, Bank of China's Shanghai headquarters. "With RMB's globalization, I'd suggest that why not look at China's market? Why not invest in RMB bonds?"

Financial cooperation between the two sides has grown stronger after the exchange of visits by Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last September. Canada and China will upgrade their economic and financial strategic dialogue to the vice-premier level, which will start in the second quarter of 2017.

"China is the second-largest trading partner of Canada. Many Canadian organizations have already issued RMB bonds in China capital market. I think holding RMB is now a good opportunity to make a valuable investment in China's fast-growing market," Huang added.

China's economy has developed rapidly alongside its bond market. Last year, bonds issued in China totaled 36.1 trillion yuan ($5.2 trillion), up 54.2 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the PBOC.

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