Beijing’s clampdown on currency outflows has made headlines since last year, but less attention has been payed to recent moves to further open China’s bond market in an effort to attract foreign capital. Saikat Chatterjee and Umesh Desaid report for Reuters that currency concerns are keeping investors out of the bond market, despite the moves to lure them in.
Foreign investors own less than 2% of the country’s US$3.3 trillion worth of outstanding bonds, and despite new opportunities remain wary of currency weakness. The yuan fell nearly 7% in 2016, its biggest decline since 2005, and is forecast to weaken to 7.07 in a year agianst the dollar versus a level 6.91 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters poll.
“If investors wanted to have more exposure to Chinese bonds, we can do it tomorrow…but unfortunately, they don’t. It’s very difficult to persuade people because of the currency. They don’t want renmindbi,” Andy Seaman of London-based fund manager Stratton Street said.