Hungary issues panda bonds in China for 1 billion RMB

Hungary has become the first foreign issuer to tap the onshore and offshore markets for yuan bonds; last year it has already sold a three-year RMB 1 bln “dim sum” bond

BUDAPEST, July 26 (Xinhua) — Hungary issued state bonds in China in an amount of 1 billion yuan (151 million U.S. dollars), State Secretary of the Ministry for National Economy Agnes Hornung said Wednesday.

It is the first time that Hungary entered the Chinese interbank bond market to issue RMB bonds and Hungary’s first sovereign panda bonds.

“The bond issued on the onshore market in China has a three-year maturity, and its interest rate is 4.85 percent,” Hornung told journalists. Later the bond will be swapped to euro, thus, the interest rate on the bonds launched in China will have a more favorable rate, she added.

Demand for the bonds at the July 26 auction was double the amount that was accepted. The issue was organized by Bank of China and HSBC.

Hornung underlined that the emission was symbolic and contributed to the strengthening of Chinese-Hungarian economic relations.

“The current issue is part of a 3 billion yuan program, and ulterior releases will be made subject to market conditions,” she said.

Besides decreasing the level of public debt, the aim of the Hungarian government is to decrease the debt held in foreign currencies, Hornung said. She also praised the achievements of the government, which saw the debt to GDP ratio fall from 80.7 percent in 2011 to 74 percent in 2016.

The bond issued on the Chinese market was the result of an agreement reached in November 2015 between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the Bank of China to issue a bond in RMB, Hornung recalled.

“The so-called dim sum bond issued last spring was issued under English law, while the current bond was issued under Chinese law and its preparation started in 2016,” she added.

The interest rate of 4.85 percent of the bond is lower than the 1 billion yuan government bond issued in April last year, which was 6.25 percent.

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