(Reuters) – Britain will become first Western government to issue an offshore bond in China‘s renminbi currency, Chancellor George Osborne said on Friday, deepening efforts to build financial links with the world’s No.2 economy.
News of the bond came after Britain announced 2.4 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) of commercial deals with China, coinciding with Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai’s visit to London.
“I can now announce that the UK government intends to be the first national government outside of China to issue a bond in China’s currency,” said Osborne, speaking alongside the vice premier as part of an annual meeting on finance and investment involving the two countries.
“We have issued bonds in U.S. dollars before. Now we will issue a bond in renminbi.”
Osborne also said Lloyd’s of London insurance market had been granted a licence to open a branch in Beijing, days after Britain granted the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China a wholesale banking licence.
Osborne said the renminbi bond would be similar in size to a 2 billion renminbi bond issued in London by China Development Bank [CHDB.UL].
(Reporting by David Milliken, writing by Andy Bruce; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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