China's securities regulator said on Friday that it will allow domestic and overseas companies to issue bonds in the onshore stock exchanges to finance projects related with the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges will carry out the pilot B&R bond program. Government-backed institutions in economies participating in the B&R initiative can also sell bonds in China, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or CSRC.
"The CSRC will continue to push the opening-up of the bond market at the country's stock exchanges, and facilitate international cooperation and financing under the B&R initiative," CSRC spokeswoman Gao Li said at a news conference in Beijing.
The move is the latest effort of China to further open its capital markets and to boost investment and financing for regional infrastructure development under the B&R initiative.
Seven domestic and overseas companies have gained the regulatory approval to issue B&R bonds worth a total of 50 billion yuan ($7.9 billion) and four of them have already raised 3.5 billion yuan through their bond issuances, according to the CSRC.
Last March, Russian aluminum producer UC Rusal issued renminbi-denominated bonds worth 1 billion yuan at the Shanghai Stock Exchange, becoming the first company from an economy involved in the B&R initiative to sell bonds in China.
In January, Chinese cement producer Hongshi Group raised 300 million yuan through its bond offering at the Shanghai Stock Exchange to fund its projects in Laos. The group was the first Chinese company to issue B&R bonds at the stock exchange, according to the CSRC.
Fang Xinghai, vice-chairman of the CSRC, earlier said that the regulator will encourage good-quality companies to float shares and issue bonds in the Chinese capital market and will work to ensure the financing for projects under the B&R initiative.
The regulator will take advantage of both onshore and offshore markets to support domestic and international companies' financing activities for the development of the B&R initiative, Fang said.