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China to open bond market wider to overseas investors: official

2019-03-10 16:48

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Stitched photo taken on June 21, 2018 shows scenery of the Lujiazui area in Pudong of Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Yin Gang)

   BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to push for wider opening up of the bond market to overseas investors and create a sound market environment, an official said Sunday.

   Over the past two years, China's bond market has taken fast steps of opening up, as the country improved policies to make it easier for overseas investors to issue panda bonds and invest in its bond market, Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of the People's Bank of China, told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session.

   At present, overseas investors hold around 1.8 trillion yuan (about 268 billion U.S. dollars) in China's bond market, and the holdings rose nearly 600 billion yuan in 2018, Pan said.

   However, bonds owned by them represent only a little more than 2 percent in China's total. "The ratio is not very high and there is still huge potential in the future," Pan said.

   Overseas holdings rose significantly in the past two years thanks partly to the Bond Connect program, a market access scheme launched in July 2017 that allows overseas investors to invest in the Chinese mainland's interbank bond market using financial institutions of the mainland and Hong Kong.

   To further open up the bond market, the country announced in November 2018 that overseas institutions investing in its bond market would be exempted from corporate income tax and value-added tax on their bond interest earnings for a period of three years. 

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