(Adds details on securities MOUs)
By Samuel Shen and Matthew Miller
SHANGHAI Dec 22 Russia and China have not set a
timetable for the issuance of a benchmark Russian treasury bond
denominated in yuan, as both sides continue to discuss technical
and regulatory issues, a Russian finance ministry official said
"It's a priority project now," Artem Sharibzhanov, an
official in the Ministry of Finance's Department of Public Debt
and Sovereign Financial Assets, told Reuters.
Sharibzhanov was in Shanghai attending a cross-border
investment forum hosted by the Shanghai Stock Exchange and
Moscow Exchange to promote closer ties between Chinese and
Russian capital markets.
CITIC Securities and Galaxy Securities signed memorandums of
understanding with the Moscow Exchange on the sidelines of that
event, in deals that will see Chinese brokerages providing
access for their clients to Russian securities traded in Moscow.
The deal also could provide assistance for Chinese companies
that want to list their securities on the Moscow bourse.
Wang Yuan, a Moscow Exchange supervisory board member, said
the cooperation agreements are part of an effort to build
Russia has sought to deepen ties with China since relations
with the West soured over the Ukraine conflict in 2014.
U.S. and European Union sanctions and a collapse in global
oil prices have hurt the Russian economy and starved it of
much-needed foreign investment.
As part of those efforts, Russia has said it wants to raise
the equivalent of $1 billion by issuing OFZ government bonds in
Russia denominated in Chinese yuan.
It initially hoped to issue the yuan bonds this year, but
the issue is now more likely early next year.
In September Chinese bank ICBC was appointed a clearing bank
for settling yuan transactions in Russia, and in March the
Russian central bank said it had successfully tested currency
swaps with the People's Bank of China and that they were ready
for use to support bilateral trade and direct investment.
(Reporting By Samuel Shen and Matthew Miller; Additional
reporting by Alexander Winning in Moscow; Editing by Richard
Pullin and Eric Meijer)