DEAL: world’s first North American panda bond

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 16 Nov 2016

China’s panda bond market has seen its first North American issuer, but the deal’s success does not necessarily reflect a relaxed regulatory environment for foreign issuers.

The National Bank of Canada (NBC) has successfully issued an onshore triple A-rated RMB5 billion ($729 million) panda bond after more than a year of stagnation in the panda bond market. It has made the NBC the world’s first North American and truly foreign financial institution to have publicly issued a renminbi-denominated (RMB) debt in China’s interbank bond market (CIBM).

But the deal is believed to have been facilitated by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s earlier visit to Canada, suggesting this was not a clear sign of the authorities lowering regulatory thresholds on panda bond issuance.     

"Would a normal issuer from North America and Europe seeking to issue panda bonds by way of a public offering...