Wed, 21 Oct 2020

BEIJING, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, said on Friday that it welcomes FTSE Russell's announcement to include Chinese bonds in its World Government Bond Index (WGBI).

This decision reflected global investors' confidence in China's sound, long-term economic development as well as its further opening-up of the financial sector, it said in a statement online, citing Pan Gongsheng, deputy head of the central bank.

The remarks followed global multi-asset index provider FTSE Russell's announcement on Friday that it will add Chinese government bonds to its flagship WGBI from October 2021, with the exact start date confirmed next March.

Before FTSE Russell, Chinese bonds had already been included in the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index (BGAI) and J.P. Morgan's Government Bond Index-Emerging Markets (GBI-EM).

China's bond market was worth about 112 trillion yuan (about 16.44 trillion U.S. dollars) as of August this year, of which 2.8 trillion yuan of bonds were held by international investors, said the PBOC, noting that international investment in China's bond market has surged at an average annual rate of nearly 40 percent in the past three years.

The PBOC said it continues to work with all parties to improve relevant policies and institutions and pursue greater opening-up of China's bond market to provide a more friendly and convenient investment environment for investors from both home and abroad.

The inclusion of Chinese bonds in the WGBI may pave the way for some 150 billion U.S. dollars of capital inflow into China's bond market, according to market estimate.

Wesley Yang, head of financial markets at Standard Chartered Bank China, said the inclusion announcement makes international investors highly expectant about further opening-up of China's bond market, and Standard Chartered Bank China is willing to take part in it.

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