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China boosts international access to financial markets with Bond Connect

International access to China has been expanded with the launch of the country’s Bond Connect programme.

The scheme is designed to open up China’s bond market – worth around 66 trillion yuan (£7.49 trillion) – and attract foreign capital.

It is the world’s third largest market, but international investors own less than 1.5 per cent of it.

From Monday 03 July, investors can get “northbound” access – meaning foreigners can only buy and sell Chinese bonds – via Hong Kong financial institutions to mainland China’s interbank bond market.

A launch date for “Southbank” investment had not been set.

It follows other recent moves to internationalise China’s financial markets. A two-way stock trading link between Hong Kong and Shanghai was launched in November 2014, and a second stock link was introduced in December 2016 connecting Hong Kong and the mainland’s second exchange in Shenzhen.

The Bond Connect programme opened with 4.9 billion yuan ($721.4 million) of trading, but experts warned against reading too much into first-day trading numbers.

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ELS Legal is an international law firm based in London with more than 50 partner offices across the world. As part of the Cathay Associates global legal network, we are the first choice law firm for a number of British businesses and overseas clients.

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