News story

China chooses London for its first ever sovereign renminbi (RMB) bond issued outside of China

First ever Chinese sovereign RMB bond to be issued outside of China

Graphic showing an RMB coin in a hand

Worth RMB 3 billion (approximately £300 million), this is the first ever Chinese sovereign RMB bond to be issued outside of China, underlining London’s status as the leading western RMB hub, and a leading global financial centre.

Issued in London by the Chinese government, the bond, worth RMB 3 billion (approximately £300 million), is the first Chinese sovereign RMB bond to be issued outside of China.

The issuance cements London’s position as the leading western RMB hub, and reinforces the UK’s ever-strengthening economic and financial relationship with China.

Last year during a visit to Shanghai the Chancellor announced the UK’s commitment to being China’s long-term partner on its journey of economic transformation and financial reform.

This landmark issuance is a significant step on that journey, signalling China’s continued commitment to open its economy, liberalise its markets and internationalise its currency.

China is making strides towards regaining its position as the world’s largest economy and today’s announcement shows that the UK is sitting at the heart of these developments.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:

I am delighted that the Chinese government has decided to issue this landmark RMB bond in London.

Choosing London as the destination to issue this bond – the first Chinese sovereign RMB bond issued outside of China – reinforces the UK’s strong economic and financial relationship with China.

It also signals London’s success in building its position as the leading western hub for RMB, reflecting the UK’s continued ability to innovate and lead in new financial markets.

Ensuring that the UK remains China’s long-term partner on its journey of economic transformation cuts to the heart of the government’s efforts to promote the long-term competitiveness of the UK financial sector.

London’s attractiveness to foreign investors is clear but its status as the world’s leading financial centre has been hard won. It is crucial we do not put it at risk by voting to leave the EU on 23 June.

This issuance builds on previous significant successes, which have helped to establish London as the leading western RMB hub and strengthened economic and financial ties between the UK and China.

  • September 2011 – the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue agreed to support the private sector to develop London as an offshore RMB market
  • November 2013 – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China issued a RMB 2 billion bond in London
  • June 2014 – the Chancellor hosted an international RMB conference in London, attended by China’s Premier Li and Governor Zhou of the People’s Bank of China
  • September 2014 – China Development Bank issued an RMB bond in London (RMB 2 billion), the first by a quasi-sovereign outside of China
  • UK government issued a landmark RMB bond (RMB 3 billion), the first non-Chinese issuance of sovereign RMB debt

Autumn 2015 saw the most ambitious package of measures ever agreed between the UK and China on RMB, and on financial services more widely. The package of measures included:

  • UK and China agreed to support the Shanghai Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange Group to carry out a feasibility study on a stock connect
  • UK and China welcomed a new initiative to establish a working group on mutual fund recognition
  • China committed to issue a sovereign RMB bond in London, the first Chinese sovereign debt issuance outside of China
  • People’s Bank of China issued RMB 5 billion of short-term central bank notes – the first time it has done so outside China
  • Bank of England and the People’s Bank of China agreed an increased swap line of RMB 350 billion
  • Agricultural Bank of China listed $1billion dual currency green bonds in London, including a 600 million RMB-denominated tranche. This was the first international green bond issuance by a Chinese bank
Published 26 May 2016