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Lenders Allowed to Issue RMB Bonds in HK
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The regulations on Chinese mainland banks' issuance of renminbi bonds in Hong Kong jointly issued by the central bank and the top economic planner came into effect on Friday, a move to consolidate the special administrative region's status as an international financial center, said the central bank.


The regulations said policy and commercial banks are allowed to issue renminbi bonds in Hong Kong and nailed down qualification requirements on the issuers and issuance procedures.


Qualified domestic banks must have a core capital adequacy ratio above 4 percent, keep earning profits for recent three years, have sufficient loan loss reserve, meet risk control requirements and have not conducted illegal behaviors in recent three years, said the regulations.


Banks to issue renminbi bonds in Hong Kong must submit applications to the central bank and send a copy to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner. The two recipients will examine the banks' qualifications and report to the State Council.


A central bank official said the issuance would increase Hong Kong residents' renminbi investment choices and expand renminbi business in Hong Kong .


He said the renminbi business is developing healthily in Hong Kong, and by the end of April 38 banks in Hong Kong had opened renminbi business. The renminbi deposits in Hong Kong-based banks have reached 25.5 billion yuan, he added.


So far three mainland banks have announced to consider issuing renminbi bonds in Hong Kong. They are the Import and Export Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank.


(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2007)


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