Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dim Sum Debt

The market for bonds in renminbi
Heretofore has been traded quite thinly,
Though it's possible, thanks
To the world's central banks,
For yuan to be all that it kin be.

The Wall Street Journal reports that bankers pushing for the development of the offshore market for yuan-denominated bonds - so-called "dim sum" bonds - have homed in on a new target group: central banks and sovereign wealth funds. The appeal to many such institutions may be the diversification of their foreign reserves away from US dollars. Though the current outstanding dim sum debt is a paltry CN¥198 billion ($31 billion), larger issues such as this past August's CN¥15 billion ($2.3 billion) notes of the Chinese Finance Ministry have begun to expand the market beyond small investors.

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