2016 was a landmark year for China’s financial reform. After the IMF’s decision to include the renminbi in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket, PRC policy makers took another major step to internationalize the currency and liberalize capital market access by further opening up the $8 trillion renminbi interbank bond market to offshore investors.
Nearly all types of foreign institutional investors are now qualified to access the domestic bond market. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has also abolished investment quota controls and simplified the application procedure to record filing.
The opening up of the interbank bond market for foreign institutional investors can be summarized by the following regulatory moves by the PRC authorities: - 2010: The PBOC launched a pilot scheme to allow foreign central banks, monetary authorities, renminbi clearing banks in Hong Kong and Macao, and offshore banks participating in cross-border trade renminbi settlement to invest in the onshore interbank bond market (limited to cash bonds only).
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