The potential of China's bond markets

China''s bond markets are huge but illiquid, yet a more vibrant interbank market could release some of the potential.

An internal report from HSBC on the Chinese domestic bond market has given some interesting insights into this rapidly changing area of the country's capital markets. The market is developing quickly, but while government issuance has boosted the size of the bond market, it still suffers teething problems. One such problem is the absence of a credible interbank offer rate pricing mechanism by which the market can more easily estimate the cost of borrowing.

According to research by HSBC, year-to-date issuance to August stood at Rmb187 billion, $22 billion compared to last year's total issuance of Rmb548 billion. The total number of debt instruments under custody amounts to Rmb1.4 trillion, the bulk of...

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