China Bond ETFs Could Strengthen on Improved Bond Connect Program

Global investors may soon find it easier to access the Chinese debt market as a newly implemented settlement system was announced, potentially strengthening China bond-related ETFs.

A new settlement system for a bond investment scheme connecting the mainland to Hong Kong was announced, CNBC reports. The new program opens up the market to more investors by now meeting a widespread regulatory requirement.

Analysts argued that the new scheme could pave the way for the country’s debt securities to be included in a major global index, the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index – investors may find it similar to what happened for China mainland listed stocks, which were recently included in the MSCI’s global stock indices.

The news means “a major hurdle” was cleared toward securing “smooth inclusion of China bonds into the Bloomberg-Barclays Global Aggregate Index,” Andre de Silva, HSBC’s head of global emerging markets rates research, and Pin Ru Tan, an Asia-Pacific rates strategist at the bank, said in a note.

The change was made to a program called Bond Connect, which allowed overseas investors from Hong Kong and elsewhere to invest in Chinese bonds through investment links between Hong Kong and mainland China. The recent changes fully implemented a new settlement system know as real-time delivery-versus payment, or RDVP, which ensured payments and deliveries occur simultaneously.

“The full implementation of RDVP for Bond Connect enables international investors under (some) regulatory requirements to join the scheme and seek investment opportunities in China Interbank Bond Market,” Bond Connect said in a release.