DEAL: China’s first US dollar bond sale since 2004

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 6 Nov 2017

China has returned to the US dollar-denominated bond market for the first time in 13 years with a $2 billion issuance, setting a benchmark for future offshore debt sales.

The country’s Ministry of Finance (Mofcom) traditionally sells bonds in renminbi, with holdings in US dollars believed to be around one percent of total government debt ($200 million approximately). Its last non-renminbi denominated issuance was in 2004, when it sold $1.7 billion worth of bonds.

"The size of the issuance is a small amount in comparison to investors’ demand received but the issue size is not the only consideration for the Ministry of Finance," said Allen & Overy partner  Agnes Tsang, which advised the syndicate of 10 lenders.

Setting the tone

This latest issuance, on October 26, comprised $2 billion of five and 10-year...