However, what matter is the timing of this launch and the Chinese central government's definition on Hong Kong's role, as this could largely influence the outlook of the regional economy: Hong Kong has been losing its popularity to mainlanders as a major tourist city and a shopping center, which hurts the consumption's contribution to the regional GDP growth. No date has been set for reciprocal Chinese investment into foreign bonds.
It could be "very soon" that Beijing will allow foreign institutions to rate China's onshore bonds, a ground-breaking move that has been sought-after by foreign investors for years, Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) told the Post on Monday.
"Foreigners have been able to invest into Chinese bonds under various schemes in the past".
The growing Chinese bond market has been virtually out of reach for foreign investors, who now hold less than 1.5% of bonds issued in China, according to estimates by Bloomberg.
A giant screen at the launch ceremony showed 2.15 billion yuan worth of bonds were purchased in the first 22 minutes of trade. "We expect more worldwide bond indices will include or increase allocations in Chinese onshore bonds one year after the implementation of Bond Connect".
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The first day trading has seen 7 billion yuan worth of bonds traded by 89 financial firms via the scheme, which allows global investors to trade mainland bonds via the platforms of HKEX and China Foreign Exchange Trade System. HSBC said it had completed its first deal as a market maker through the link but did not give additional details.
More than 99.7 per cent of food supplied by the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong is up to standard, and no serious food safety incident has ever happened in Hong Kong involving such products in the past 20 years, the administration said.
"There are good reasons to think that foreign demand for Chinese bonds will remain tepid for the foreseeable future".
Prices in China's bond market, the world's third-largest, were mostly steady throughout the day, with the yield on a benchmark 10-year government bond down 0.04 percentage points to 3.53%.
Since late a year ago, foreign investors in Hong Kong have been able to trade shares in about 900 firms in companies on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and vice-versa following the official launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong trading link. Those two schemes allow both northbound and southbound trade.