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Business trends

Belt and Road offers path into China for foreign financial firms

Investors offer vital funding for projects with eye toward looser ownership rules

HONG KONG -- China's Belt and Road Initiative has begun luring international investors and financial institutions that view the foreign policy venture not only as a business opportunity, but also as a way to buy Beijing's goodwill before the country relaxes foreign ownership restrictions.

The state-owned Bank of China floated corporate bonds to fund BRI projects on Hong Kong's stock exchange in April. The bonds were issued in U.S. dollars, euros, Australian dollars and New Zealand dollars to attract foreign investors. It is the bank's fourth issuance of BRI-branded corporate bonds, helping it raise a cumulative total of over $10 billion for the infrastructure projects.

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