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Chinatrust Commercial Bank officially launches Formosa Bonds

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chinatrust Commercial Bank yesterday formally launched renminbi-dominated bonds, dubbed “Formosa Bonds” by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), in the hope of competing with the Hong Kong-issued Chinese yuan “Dim Sum Bonds.”

Jennifer Wang (王儷玲), deputy head of the FSC, said at the ceremony marking the launch at the over-the-counter Gretai Securities Market (GSM) that she hopes the bond will surpass the Dim Sum Bonds, with some 300 billion yuan of the notes already sold, in the near future to become the major investment target for Taiwanese retirement pension funds and other local long-term investor institutions.

Chinatrust Commercial Bank sold 1 billion yuan worth of three-year Formosa Bonds at a yield of 2.9 percent, 30 percent of which were given to banks. Thirty percent went to institutional investors and 40 percent to securities and bill finance businesses. The paper's 2.9-percent yield rate, while lower than Hong Kong issued RMB papers with similar maturity, is considerably higher than the interest rates for Chinese yuan saving accounts.

Wu Sou-Shan (吳壽山), head of the GSM, said yesterday that more businesses will join Chinatrust to issue at least five new types of Formosa Bonds with a total worth of around 5 billion yuan in the next three months. The issuers of the upcoming bonds, which will have yields of at least 2 percent, will lower the threshold of investment from the Chinatrust papers' 1 million yuan per note to 20,000 yuan per note to allow more kinds of investors to join in the market, Wu said.

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