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March 8, 2017

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Citi set to put China bonds in indexes

CITIGROUP will include China’s bonds in its government bond indexes, the US lender said yesterday, in the wake of the Chinese regulator’s recent signals over a wider opening of the mainland’s interbank bond market to overseas investors.

Citi said it will include China’s onshore bonds in its three government bond indexes — Emerging Markets Government Bond Index, Asian Government Bond Index, and Asia Pacific Government Bond Index.

The US bank said it also plans to add China, South Korea and Israel into a new sub-index of the widely used World Government Bond Index. The sub-index will track 26 global major bond markets, up from 23.

But Citi did not say when the bonds will be included.

“We are pleased to see regulatory changes that enable market access, allowing us to reflect and provide new investment opportunities in our indexes,” said Arom Pathammavong, global head of Citi Fixed Income Indices.

Citi’s decision came days after Bloomberg included China’s yuan-denominated bonds in its global bond indexes.

A top central bank official recently commented it would “welcome and support” the inclusion of Chinese bonds in major international indexes.

China’s bond market totaled 63.8 trillion yuan (US$9.25 trillion) at the end of 2016, which has doubled in volume in the last three years, data compiled by the China Central Depository & Clearing Co showed.


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