Bank of China sets up Singapore bond hub
Lender eyes role as pipeline for financing Belt and Road projects
TAKASHI NAKANO, Nikkei staff writer
SINGAPORE -- Bank of China has established a bond division at its branch here, seeking to facilitate debt financing in anticipation of greater funding demand for infrastructure projects tied to the Chinese government's Belt and Road initiative.
The new hub will enable the lender to meet the needs of companies floating bonds, as well as investors, according to an official in charge of Singapore activities. Bank of China will add to its several point people. The plan is to serve as a bilateral pipeline, including helping Chinese companies issue bonds in the Singaporean market and helping sell bonds to Chinese investors.
Singapore is both the center of Southeast Asia's financial market and a stop on the Maritime Silk Road, a key route envisioned in the Belt and Road program. Positioned as a funding channel for infrastructure projects, it will now be able to more nimbly handle bonds as well as conventional joint lending.
Bank of China was the first half's No. 4 bond underwriter by value for the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, according to market research firm Dealogic. Citic unit Citic Securities took third place, and China Construction Bank fifth.