HONG KONG Feb 7 Citigroup Inc's China
unit said on Tuesday that it had received the so-called "Type A"
bond settlement agent licence from China's central bank,
allowing it to add to its offering of sales, trading and
research in the fixed-income business.
Citigroup is the first U.S.-based bank to be granted the
Type A licence to act as a bond settlement agent in China's
interbank bond market. Other global banks with such a licence
include Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA
Type A licence holders in China can trade, settle and
provide custody for interbank bond market products both on a
proprietary basis and on behalf of foreign investors. Citi's
licence comes as China has been expanding interbank bond market
access to foreign investors in recent years.
As a result, the Chinese bond market has grown more than six
fold since 2005 to become the third largest globally by
issuance. As at the end of December, the value of bonds
outstanding had reached $9.3 trillion, Citi said, citing
financial data services provider Winds.
"China's bond market is exciting and dynamic as China
accelerates the internationalisation of RMB," Christine Lam,
president and chief executive officer of Citi China, said in a
statement, referring to renminbi, also known as the yuan.
On Monday, JPMorgan Chase & Co said it had received
approval and licence to underwrite corporate bonds in China's
interbank bond market, making it the first U.S.-headquartered
bank to do so.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Christopher