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China’s $138 billion stimulus bond sale starts on Friday

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SHANGHAI/BEIJING: China‘s finance ministry plans to start raising 1 trillion yuan in long-awaited, long-term special treasury bonds this week to raise funds it will use to stimulate key sectors of its flagging economy.

The finance ministry confirmed what four sources had told Reuters earlier on Monday that the 1 trillion yuan ($138.23 billion) of special government bonds would have tenors of 20 to 50 years and issuance will begin on May 17. The sources who have direct knowledge of the plans said 300 billion yuan worth of 20-year bonds, 600 billion yuan worth of 30-year bonds and 100 billion yuan worth of 50-year bonds would be issued.

China’s Premier Li Qiang on Monday urged officials to make good use of the ultra-long special treasury bonds to support the implementation of major national strategies as well as building security capabilities in key areas, state media reported.

China would make coordinated arrangements for key tasks for this year and the next few years, coordinate and make good use of conventional and extraordinary policies, state media said.

The country would also better coordinate government investment and social capital, the report said, citing Li, who chaired the virtual meeting. Market participants have been waiting for weeks for details of the issuance pipeline of these special treasury bonds, which were first announced during China‘s parliamentary conference in March.

Given the issuance was foreseen, news of the details caused bond yields to slip slightly. The yield on 30-year bonds fell 2 basis points to 2.55%. The finance ministry said 30-year special bonds will be sold in 12 tranches, from May 17 to Nov. 15. It said 20-year bonds will be sold in seven batches beginning May 24, while 50-year bonds will be issued in three tranches from May 17. Details of the timeline come after data showed new bank lending in China fell more than market participants expected in April from the previous month while broad credit growth hit a new low.The rise of outstanding total social financing, a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, slowed to 8.3% in April, a new low, from 8.7% in March. Earlier in the day, the Financial Times reported that Chinese authorities had begun plans to sell the long-dated bonds and the People’s Bank of China had asked brokers for advice on pricing.

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