Monday 14 October 2019

Italy lines up 'Panda' bond deal with China

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Reuters

Italy is looking to build on its commercial ties with China by becoming the first G7 major industrialised nation to borrow in the Chinese $12trn bond market, sources said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit Rome this week and is expected to sign a preliminary accord with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, hooking Italy up to his giant Belt and Road infrastructure project.

More than 30 parallel deals are also in the pipeline, according to a source close to the matter. Among these is a possible accord to let Italy's state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti sell 'Panda' bonds - debt sold by foreign entities to investors in mainland China - two sources familiar with negotiations told Reuters.

Such a deal would highlight the tentative moves being made by Mr Xi to remove barriers to foreign issuers as he seeks to internationalise China's yuan currency and open up sources of finance for his Belt and Road Initiative.


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