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Hong Kong and Malaysia to Start Cross-Border Bond Trading System

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority will start a pilot platform with Bank Negara Malaysia and Euroclear Bank SA to spur trading of sukuk and Dim Sum bonds as the city aims to become China’s hub for Islamic finance and offshore yuan transactions.

The platform, which will start on March 30, will allow investors in Malaysia to buy yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong, Esmond Lee, executive director for financial infrastructure of the city’s de-facto central bank, told reporters today. Hong Kong investors would gain access to sukuks, or bonds that comply with Islam’s ban on paying interest, Lee said.

The pilot platform will also allow financial institutions to get secured borrowing in Hong Kong dollars or yuan by pledging securities they hold with Euroclear Bank, Peter Pang, deputy chief executive of the HKMA, said at the same press conference.

“The global financial crisis has reminded us of the destructive powers of a liquidity crunch and the need for quick access to local currency liquidity in times of stress,” Pang said. “The cross-border and cross-currency collateral management service provided by the pilot platform is a timely solution to meet this market need.”

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