RMB. Photo: iStock

Anhui, a province in eastern China, announced it has issued 33.12 billion yuan (US$4.85 billion) in government replacement bonds, marking the completion of the local government’s debt-swap scheme, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 44.18 billion yuan in government bonds were issued, including 33.12 billion yuan in replacement bonds. Among the latter, 26.26 billion yuan were issued directly to designated underwriters, while 6.86 billion yuan were issued via opening bids.

Since 2015, Anhui province has efficiently replaced 399.2 billion yuan in government debt, and achieved the daunting goal of replacing all the existing government debt that can be replaced.

China’s local government debt soared during an investment and construction binge driven by the government to minimize the impact of the global financial crisis in 2008. The authorities have since rolled out a string of measures to reduce the local debt burden.