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World Bank issues its first yuan bond sale
Date:2011/1/7      View:1043
The World Bank announced its first yuan-denominated bond sale yesterday as it hopes to diversify investors' currency holdings and increase the exposure of the yuan.

The 500 million yuan (US$75.4 million), two-year fixed-rate bond, due on January 14, 2013, offers investors a semi-annual coupon of 0.95 percent.

It is the first yuan bond issuance this year in Hong Kong. It is also the World Bank's first yuan bond ever, the Washington-based bank said in a press statement.

The entry of the World Bank into the yuan bond market will further deepen the market and permit investors to diversify their currency holdings and expand their yuan exposure, the bank said.

It also said the World Bank's global reputation could help attract the attention of international investors who have not previously invested in the yuan.

Doris Herrera-Pol, global head of capital markets at the World Bank, said the move signals the bank's strong interest in supporting the development of the yuan market.

"It is a privilege for us to have this opportunity that establishes the institution as an issuer in the fastest growing capital market in the world," Herrera-Pol said.

China's shareholding in the World Bank is set to increase as part of the realignment of voting shares announced last April.

If the realignment is formally approved as proposed, China will become the third largest shareholder in the World Bank after the United States and Japan.

The HSBC Group will be the major underwriter of the bond issue.

China is trying to expand the clout of the yuan around the world where the US dollar still dominates as the preferred currency.

China will continue to experiment with a broader application of the cross-border yuan settlement program this year.

Last month, Russia joined the program, allowing traders to settle deals in the Chinese currency.

Sun Lijian, an economics professor at Fudan University, said it may take a long time for the yuan to become an international currency.

But Sun added the world needs a more influential yuan to counter the excessive weight of the US dollar in the global market.
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