Fri, Dec 24, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Hong Kong could soon offer yuan promissory notes


Hong Kong banks may start offering yuan promissory notes early next year, making it easier for investors to buy initial public offerings (IPO) denominated in the Chinese currency.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is working on technical support for yuan promissory notes and the instruments are expected to be introduced in mid-February, said an HKMA spokeswoman who declined to be identified.

Investors in Hong Kong may soon have the chance to buy into an IPO denominated in yuan, as the territory grows as an offshore center for trading in the Chinese currency. Billionaire Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠) plans what may be the first such sale early next year, seeking more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) for a real estate investment trust backed by the Oriental Plaza development in Beijing, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Computershare Hong Kong Investor Services Ltd, a share registry company, is working with “some market partners” on an online system for purchasing yuan-denominated shares, managing director Pamela Chung said in a phone interview yesterday. She didn’t identify the partners.

“Details of the new system will be announced after March 2011,” she said.

The HKMA has expressed concerns to the People’s Bank of China about having only one bank, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Ltd (中銀香港(控股)), able to clear yuan in Hong Kong, Radio Television Hong Kong reported yesterday.

The HKMA official confirmed the report, which cited the de facto central bank’s deputy chief executive, Arthur Yuen (阮國恒).

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