As China's Bond Markets Open, Investor Interest Grows

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The fast growth and development of China’s bond market is consistent with its government’s ongoing efforts to allow easier access for foreign investors. As regulators and policymakers open up China’s capital accounts, the investor base grows; this, in turn, means more onshore corporations are encouraged to issue bonds, which provides investors with a wider selection of credit issues.

Not all of these bonds are without problems, of course, but even though the number of defaults has increased since 2014, the government has managed to contain systemic risks. In fact, defaults can be seen as a welcome part of China’s bond-market development, since they help improve capital allocations and reduce moral hazard over the long term. Nevertheless, we would still like to see China implement a proper and proven default-resolution process to allow the restructuring of stressed credits, rather than rely on liquidity injections.

Another important development in China’s fixed-income marketplace is the fact that China has become the third-largest issuer of green bonds – an area that we expect will continue to grow given China’s many critical environmental projects.

As foreign access to the onshore bond market opens up, China’s inclusion in global bond indices becomes increasingly more viable, particularly in global emerging-market debt indices. This should further boost the demand for China’s bonds, particularly for investors seeking more attractive yield potential and diversification opportunities.

Key takeaways

  • China has been opening up its bond markets to foreigners, encouraging more onshore companies to issue bonds and providing a wider selection of credits
  • Defaults have gone up but have been contained; they can also be seen as helpful, since they improve capital allocations and reduce moral hazard
  • China’s inclusion in global bond indices is becoming increasingly more viable, particularly in global emerging-market debt indices

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Important Information
The material contains the current opinions of the author, which are subject to change without notice. Statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. References to specific securities and issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, recommendations to purchase or sell such securities. Forecasts and estimates have certain inherent limitations, and are not intended to be relied upon as advice or interpreted as a recommendation.

Past performance of the markets is no guarantee of future results. This is not an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. It is presented only to provide information on investment strategies and opportunities.

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