2019 CCDC Overseas Investor Annual Conference Successfully Held in Shanghai

On November 21, China Central Depository & Clearing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as CCDC) successfully held the 2019 CCDC Overseas Investor Annual Conference themed “Opening-up in Depth: New Trends and New Opportunities” in Lujiazui, Shanghai.

The Conference was attended by more than 230 representatives from over 140 institutions, including competent departments from the People’s Bank of China, National Development and Reform Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, central banks of South Korea, Egypt, Indonesia, and Australia, well-known domestic and foreign banking institutions such as New Development Bank, ICBC, BOC, HSBC, and MUFG Bank, world leading asset management institutions such as BlackRock, UBS Asset Management, and Vanguard, as well as domestic and foreign industry associations such as International Capital Market Association, Thai Bond Market Association, and National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors.

Mr. Ma Zhongfu, Chief Supervisor of CCDC, said in the opening speech that according to the statistics of Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the total outstanding volume of China’s bond market ranked second globally as of the first quarter of 2019. Having entered a new phase of “Opening-up 2.0,” China’s bond market is undergoing a transition from “width” to “depth.” As more and more Chinese bonds are included in major global bond indices, China’s bond market has been playing an increasingly important role in the global financial market. As China’s core financial infrastructure, CCDC has always shouldered the mandates and mission of “safeguarding the steady operation of China’s bond market and promoting its opening-up & development”. In response to the increasingly diverse needs of global investors, CCDC has launched an upgraded version of “ChinaBond International Service 2.0,” which is designed to construct an ecosystem for the opening-up of China’s bond market, build a platform for communication & services, expand the application of collateral and pricing products in multiple areas such as liquidity and risk management. CCDC will continuously strengthen cooperation with various institutions, so as to build China’s bond market into an international one with greater depth, transparency and diversity.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Zhou Chengjun, Senior Advisor (DG Level) of Macro-prudential Policy Bureau of People’s Bank of China, systematically elaborated on the establishment of a healthy ecosystem for overseas investors to invest and hold RMB assets. Currently, the opening-up of China’s bond market has been deepened, providing overseas investors with more convenience. Both the inclusion of Chinese bonds in major international indices and the remarkable increase in the transaction volume show overseas investors’ recognition of the investment value of China’s bond market. With great potential in the opening-up of China’s bond market, more efforts need to be made in building a sound ecosystem for overseas investors to invest and hold RMB assets. First, we need to diversify investment channels, including direct investment in the market, infrastructure interconnectivity, holding RMB assets overseas, etc. Second, we need to further enhance products, trading, and liquidity, allowing overseas investors to participate in various product transactions and gradually expanding the scope and category of assets. We need to encourage all kinds of financial institutions to issue various products including RMB ETFs overseas directly. Third, we need to provide hedging and risk management tools. On one hand, continuously open up the foreign exchange market, increasing trading varieties and reducing counterparty restrictions; on the other hand, promote the development of various offshore RMB foreign exchange markets. Fourth, we need to strengthen infrastructure construction and relevant services, continuing to optimize services including account opening, settlement agent system, repo transactions, daytime financing, settlement, quotation, etc., so as to deliver more convenience. Meanwhile, we need to develop and enhance overseas local infrastructure construction and relative services, including RMB assets investment, custody, trading, settlement, clearing, etc., by leveraging existing currency cooperation mechanism, to better meet RMB assets investment as well as risk and liquidity management needs of all kinds of international investors.

Mr. Tian Yuan, Deputy Director General of Department of Fiscal, Financial Affairs and Credit Building, National Development and Reform Commission, pointed out in his keynote speech that opening-up is the main theme of the development of China’s bond market. In recent years, China’s bond market has made a breakthrough in the field of issuing panda bonds and getting more participants involved, becoming the forefront of the financial opening-up. As an important part of credit bonds, enterprise bond financing consistently channel funds into real economy projects, providing the most direct and efficient financing channel. The National Development and Reform Commission, staying true to the original intention of using finance to serve real economy, adheres to the organic integration of the development of enterprise bonds and the implementation of major national strategies and increases financial support in key areas such as social development and people’s livelihood so as to serve economic and social development and improvement of people’s livelihood. Currently, overseas investors have been playing an important part in China’s bond market, and they mainly invest in rate bonds such as CGBs. This means that enterprise bonds have great potential in attracting overseas investors. Tian Yuan expressed his hope that overseas investors will pay more attention to enterprise bonds and gain better returns while contributing to the high-quality development of China’s enterprise bond market.

Mr. Li Jun, Deputy Director of Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, said in his keynote speech that the bond market not only serves as an integral part of the financial market, but also plays a key role in building the Shanghai international financial center. As the opening-up of China’s financial market accelerates in recent years, it has continuously become more convenient for overseas institutional investors to enter China’s bond market. CCDC plays a significant role as the gateway of China’s bond market, fully aligns itself with the goal of developing Shanghai international financial center and China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and steadily promotes the internationalization and innovation of China’s bond market. Li Jun said that under the new circumstances, China has been accelerating opening-up in all aspects. Shanghai will follow the new trend of deepened reform in the financial market, seize new opportunities of expanding and opening-up the market, continuously strengthen its function as the hub and gateway for opening-up, optimize the development environment for the financial market, comprehensively enhance the service functions of the financial market, and improve the global competitiveness and influence of Shanghai as an international financial center.

Mr. Martin Scheck, CEO of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), delivered a speech at the conference, briefing the participants on the basic introduction of ICMA, its business in China, key achievements, cooperation with CCDC, etc. He expressed strong confidence in China’s bond market and encouraged global investors to actively participate in it. He also said that ICMA will continue to work with CCDC to push ahead with the continuous opening-up and development of China’s bond market.

Dr. Lian Ping, Chief Economist of Bank of Communications, delivered a speech themed “Outlook for the Macroeconomic and Financial Conditions in 2020.” He pointed out that under the influence of the current global economic situation, China’s economy will still suffer from downward pressure, and will face three types of risks including the slowdown of world economic growth caused by trade friction, the decline of certain economies, and the easing trend of global macroeconomic policies. In terms of domestic finance, Lian Ping believed that the problem is mainly about the credit side rather than the currency side. On one hand, credit growth keeps falling; on the other, the off-balance-sheet business in social financing keeps shrinking. Lian Ping suggested that the monetary policy should focus on the credit side and intensify the fiscal policy. Meanwhile, targeted and steadily moderate efforts should be made to maintain a reasonably sufficient liquidity.

In the following keynote speeches, experts in charge of relevant business lines of CCDC touched upon constructing the “ChinaBond International Investors Service 2.0” in the new phase of market opening-up, the main cross-border application of RMB bonds as collateral, and the application of ChinaBond Pricing and Index products in strengthening risk management.

In the subsequent round-table discussion, experts from domestic and overseas institutions such as China Development Bank, HSBC, MUFJ Bank, Baring Asset Management, and Bloomberg made in-depth discussion and exchanges on the latest progress and achievements of the opening-up of China’s bond market, the opportunities and challenges in its continuous opening-up, and the prospects of deepening the opening-up in the future. Besides, experts from ICBC, BOC, CCDC Enterprise Bond Assessment Center, Haitong Securities, and S&P Credit Rating explored the development course and prospects of China’s credit bond market, and opportunities for overseas investors to participate in this market.

As China’s economy and RMB internationalization develop steadily, China’s bond market has been continuously deepening its opening-up, undergoing a transition from “width” to “depth,” and entering the stage of “Opening-up 2.0.”

By hosting 2019 CCDC Overseas Investor Annual Conference, CCDC aims to fulfill its mandates and mission of promoting the opening-up and development of China’s bond market, meet the increasingly specialized and diverse service needs of international investors in the new stage of China’s bond market opening-up, build a high-standard platform of in-depth communication for global investors, and create an international bond market ecosystem for shared development.

The success of this annual conference will help overseas investors better understand the development course of China’s bond market, strengthen exchanges and cooperation among international institutions, and provide insights into the new opportunities brought by the opening-up of China’s bond market.

In the future, CCDC will remain true to its original aspiration, keep its mission firmly in mind, and closely follow the national strategy of “deepening reform and expanding opening-up.” It will give full play to its functions as the core infrastructure, and play an important role as the gateway to China’s bond market. CCDC will actively explore to broaden the business and service scope, continue to facilitate the opening-up of China’s bond market and provide more convenience and services for global investors to enter and invest in the market.


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