DBS China has received a licence from China and its National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors that allows the firm to underwrite debt financing for non-financial enterprises, including foreign issuers.

This makes DBS China the first Southeast Asian headquartered bank to gain this licence.

Now, non-financial enterprises outside of China can utilise DBS’ track record in helping foreign governments, agencies and financial institutions enter the world’s second largest bond market.

In 2023, DBS China was the joint lead underwriter for RMB16.5bn ($2.3bn) of Panda bonds issued in the China Interbank Bond Market, accounting for over 10% of the RMB140bn (SGD26.2bn) market that year.

Foreign issuers are becoming increasingly interested in China and its bond markets for financing.

According to Chinese financial data provider Wind Information, issuance of Panda bonds in the China Interbank Bond Market last year hit a record RMB140bn, an almost 70% jump from RMB83bn in 2022.

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Ginger Cheng, CEO of DBS Bank (China), said: “The growth of Panda bond issuances highlights the domestic bond market’s depth and rising international standing, driven in part by the government’s initiatives to internationalise its financial markets. As one of the first foreign banks to participate in the China Interbank Bond Market, our new underwriting licence expands DBS’ existing capabilities and networks in helping both foreign and local issuers access this attractive market.”

Clifford Lee, global head of fixed income, DBS Bank, said: “DBS has supported several multilateral development banks, foreign governments and European financial institutions to issue Panda bonds, some of which were inaugural issuances. These also include Panda bonds with green, sustainable and social labels, underscoring the Chinese capital market’s growing sophistication and ability to finance the global transition towards a more sustainable future.”