Asian bond stampede ahead of break

The rush to sell bonds before Chinese New Year has brought issuance to a year-to-date record.

Debt investors are bracing themselves for a tepid fortnight, as Chinese issuers take a step back from the market ahead of Chinese New Year in late January. “The market is going to shut down for an entire two weeks,” said a syndicate banker in Singapore.

But there is little doubt that investors and issuers are going into the holiday on a high. Asia’s bond market has now experienced its busiest start to a year, despite several weeks of quiet issuance in early January.

Asian issuers outside of Japan had sold $21.22 billion by Thursday morning, according to Dealogic data. That is 83% higher than they sold by...

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