The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series

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1 Research The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series ftserussell.com May 2015

2 China is now the world s largest economy (when measured by purchasing power parity (PPP) 1 ) and the largest trading nation 2. The country s domestic currency bond market is the third-largest in the world, following the United States and Japan, and has been growing rapidly in recent. The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series, launched in March 2015, offers investors a comprehensive set of benchmarks to measure the performance of the renminbi-denominated bond market. The index series includes fixed-rate and zero-coupon debt issued by the Chinese central government and policy banks. The primary price source for the FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series is the electronic trading platform operated by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) 3, ensuring that the indexes accurately represent transactions in China s interbank bond market, the dominant location for fixed income trading. Offshore and onshore renminbi bond markets Because of a long-standing government policy of foreign exchange controls, China s domestic currency bond market has historically been divided into offshore and onshore segments. Renminbi (RMB)-denominated bonds issued and settled outside the People s Republic of China (PRC) are known as offshore bonds. These bonds are denominated in the offshore version of the renminbi (the currency code CNH is frequently used to refer to renminbi traded and settled in Hong Kong). This bond market is freely accessible to international investors. Onshore RMB bonds are bonds issued and settled within the PRC. These bonds are denominated in the onshore version of the renminbi (CNY) and are accessible to mainland investors and licensed international investors (see below for a description of the quota and licence systems used by international investors to obtain exposure to securities within the PRC). The onshore Chinese bond market is substantially larger than the offshore market. As at end-january 2015, the nominal value of bonds issued offshore was RMB976 billion, while the nominal value of fixed income securities issued onshore was RMB39,400 billion 4. Between 2005 and 2014, China s local currency bond market grew more than five fold in size, bringing the country to third in a ranking of global domestic debt markets by amount in issuance (see the charts). 1 See 2 https://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2014/ htm 3 4 Source: WIND and Bloomberg. FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 1

3 China domestic debt market size 4000 Market Size (USDbn) Source: Bank for International Settlements (BIS), data captured in Q2 of each year, as at Q Domestic debt market size by country Debt Securities Outstanding (USDbn) United States Japan China United Kingdom France Germany Source: Bank for International Settlements (BIS), data captured in Q2 of each year, as at Q Market composition China s domestic debt market consists of the following principal issuer categories: Government (sovereign) bonds, issued by the Ministry of Finance to fund the central government s budget deficit; PBoC bills, issued by the China s central bank, the People s Bank of China, to help manage money market liquidity; Local government bonds, issued by certain Chinese local governments under a quota system approved by the State Council, China s chief administrative body; Financial bonds issued by state policy banks (China Development Bank, the Agricultural Development Bank of China, and the Export-Import Bank of China), which have historically received credit support from China s central government; Other financial bonds, issued by commercial banks and non-bank financial companies; and FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 2

4 Non-financial corporate bonds, issued by non-financial companies, including bonds issued by state-owned and state-controlled enterprises without an explicit or implicit government guarantee. The levels of issuance of these different bond categories since the second quarter of 2000 are shown in the chart below. Until 2005 sovereign and government related bonds were the predominant type of onshore Chinese bond; since then there has been a sharp increase in the issuance of corporate bonds, both financial and non-financial. China onshore bonds issued by quarter and type Bonds Issued (RMBbn) Jun-00 Dec-00 Jun-01 Dec-01 Jun-02 Corporate-Financial Dec-02 Jun-03 Dec-03 Jun-04 Dec-04 Jun-05 Dec-05 Jun-06 Dec-06 Jun-07 Dec-07 Jun-08 Dec-08 Jun-09 Dec-09 Jun-10 Dec-10 Jun-11 Dec-11 Jun-12 Dec-12 Jun-13 Dec-13 Jun-14 Dec-14 Corporate-Non Financial Sovereign Government Related Source: Bloomberg, March 31, December 31, The Government Related category includes policy bank bonds, local government bonds and PBoC bills. Growth in foreign investor access Currently, foreign investors can invest in China s domestic bond market via one of three access schemes. Under the PBoC s interbank investment programme, launched in 2010, investors in one of six categories (foreign central banks, sovereign wealth funds, supranationals, renminbi clearing banks, renminbi settlement banks and insurance companies) may apply for a quota to invest in renminbi bonds. The Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) and the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) schemes were launched in 2002 and 2011, respectively. QFII and RQFII quotas are awarded by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) to individual foreign institutions and subject to a range of eligibility criteria set by China s domestic securities market regulator, the Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 3

5 QFII licence holders were first allowed to purchase domestic bonds in 2012, while RQFII holders gained access in 2013 (see the diagram). Milestones in the development of the China onshore bond market 1950 First issuance of Chinese govermnet bonds by Ministry of Finance 1990 Bonds listed and traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange 1997 Commercial banks were stopped from trading bonds in the exchange market, leading to the introduction of the interbank bond market 2010 PBOC allowed renminbi-clearing banks in Hong Kong and Macau, foreign central banks involved in currency swap deals with Beijing, and international banks participating in renminbi settlements to trade on the mainland interbank market CSRC permitted QFII licence holders to trade in the interbank bond market H PBOC granted RQFIIs the right to invest in the China interbank bond market H Launch of 5 year China Government bond futures Source: FTSE Russell Market structure and index price source The majority (around 95%) of trading in onshore renminbi bonds takes place in the interbank market (i.e., on a bilateral basis), using the electronic order-matching system operated by the China Foreign Exchange Trading System (CFETS). Trades are cleared and settled via a central counterparty, either the Shanghai Clearing House (SHCH) or the China Central Depository and Clearing Company (CCDC). A limited amount of interbank trading takes place away from this CFETS platform. The interbank market is regulated by China s central bank, the PBoC. Around 5% of onshore renminbi bond trading takes place on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchanges, cleared and settled by the China Securities Depository and Clearing Company (CSDCC) and regulated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The secondary market trading structure is described in the diagram. FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 4

6 China onshore bond market structure Market Type Interbank Market OTC Market Exchange Market Order Matching China FX Trading System (CFFTS) SZSE / SSE Central Counter Party Bond Settlement Shanghai Clearing House (SHCH) China Central Depository & Clearing Co Ltd. (CCDC) China Securities Depository and Clearing (CSDCC) Cash Settlement PBOC Commercial banks Source: ChinaBond, Asian Development Bank The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series The objective of the FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series is to provide a series of indexes that track the performance of renminbi-denominated bonds. As a starting set, the index series includes all fixed-rate or zero coupon bonds issued and settled in the People s Republic of China. The series currently includes the following three indexes: The FTSE China Onshore Sovereign Bond Index The FTSE China Onshore Policy Bank Bond Index The FTSE China Onshore Sovereign and Policy Bank Bond Index Each index includes sub-indexes for bonds falling into predefined maturity segments (see the diagram). The index series also includes price and total return versions, as well as standard fixed income analytics at the index or individual constituent level. FTSE screens out less liquid bonds by setting a minimum amount outstanding of RMB20 billion for sovereign bonds and RMB10 billion for policy bank bonds. FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 5

7 FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series family tree FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series FTSE China Onshore Sovereign Bond Index FTSE China Onshore Policy Bank Bond Index FTSE China Onshore Sovereign and Policy Bank Bond Index Source: FTSE Russell The issuer and maturity compositions of the FTSE China Onshore Sovereign and Policy Bank Bond 1-10Y Index are shown in the pie charts below. As at end-january 2015, around 43% of the index consisted of Chinese government bonds, with the remainder in bonds issued by the three Chinese policy banks. FTSE China Onshore Sovereign and Policy Bank Bond 1-10Y Index: Issuer & maturity composition The Export-Import Bank of China Issuer composition (%) Maturity composition (%) Agricultural Development Bank of China to to China Government Bond China Development Bank Corp to Source: FTSE Russell, as at January 31, 2015 FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 6

8 Bond pricing To ensure that the indexes within the FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series reflect accurately the quotations in the secondary bond market, bond prices are valued at the mid price, using quotes from market makers in the electronic trading platform operated by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS). In this way, the indexes accurately reflect the information on executable quotes in China s interbank bond market, the dominant location for fixed income trading. The evaluated mid price from the Shenzhen Securities Information Co., Limited, is used as a secondary price source for bonds included in the index series. The secondary price source is used if there is no primary price for a bond on any day, or in case prices are stale or considered off-market (if bond prices from the primary source deviate by more than a pre-determined threshold from the level determined by the secondary source). Yield and performance history A comparison of ten year government bond yields in China, the US, Germany, Japan and Australia between December 2006 and January 2015 is given in the following chart. Over the period, ten-year yields in China have remained predominantly in the 3-5% range, while yields on the other bond markets have fallen to below 3%. Ten year government bond yields (%) Jan 2007 Jul 2007 Jan 2008 Jul 2008 Jan 2009 Jul 2009 Jan 2010 Jul 2010 Jan 2011 Jul 2011 Jan 2012 Jul 2012 Jan 2013 Jul 2013 Jan 2014 Jul 2014 Jan 2015 Source: Bloomberg, December 31, January 31, Past performance is no guarantee of future results. FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 7

9 The chart below shows the price performance from end-2011 to January 2015 of the 1-10 year segments of the three principal indexes within the index series. Over the period, the FTSE China Onshore Policy Bank Bond 1-10 Year Index gave a higher return than the FTSE China Onshore Sovereign Bond 1-10 Year Index. Price Performance: 1-10 Year China Onshore Bond Indexes Dec 2011 Apr 2012 Aug 2012 Dec 2012 Apr 2013 Aug 2013 Dec 2013 Apr 2014 Aug 2014 Dec 2014 Source: FTSE Group, December 30, January 31, Indexes are rebased to 100 on December 30, Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Uses of the FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series The FTSE China Onshore Bond index series is designed to provide comprehensive coverage of the domestic renminbi bond market. The index series will be of use to investors seeking to benchmark the performance of China s onshore bond market and to creators of financial products based on onshore bonds, including index tracking products and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). FTSE Russell The FTSE China Onshore Bond Index Series 8

10 For more information about our indexes, please visit ftserussell.com London Stock Exchange Group companies. London Stock Exchange Group companies includes FTSE International Limited ( FTSE ), Frank Russell Company ( Russell ), MTS Next Limited ( MTS ), and FTSE TMX Global Debt Capital Markets Inc ( FTSE TMX ). All rights reserved. FTSE, Russell, MTS, FTSE TMX and FTSE Russell and other service marks and trademarks related to the FTSE or Russell indexes are trademarks of the London Stock Exchange Group companies and are used by FTSE, MTS, FTSE TMX and Russell under licence. All information is provided for information purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure that all information given in this publication is accurate, but no responsibility or liability can be accepted by the London Stock Exchange Group companies nor its licensors for any errors or for any loss from use of this publication. Neither the London Stock Exchange Group companies nor any of their licensors make any claim, prediction, warranty or representation whatsoever, expressly or impliedly, either as to the results to be obtained from the use of the FTSE Russell Indexes or the fitness or suitability of the Indexes for any particular purpose to which they might be put. The London Stock Exchange Group companies do not provide investment advice and nothing in this document should be taken as constituting financial or investment advice. The London Stock Exchange Group companies make no representation regarding the advisability of investing in any asset. A decision to invest in any such asset should not be made in reliance on any information herein. Indexes cannot be invested in directly. Inclusion of an asset in an index is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that asset. The general information contained in this publication should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from a licensed professional. No part of this information may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the London Stock Exchange Group companies. Distribution of the London Stock Exchange Group companies index values and the use of their indexes to create financial products require a licence with FTSE, FTSE TMX, MTS and/or Russell and/or its licensors. The Industry Classification Benchmark ( ICB ) is owned by FTSE. FTSE does not accept any liability to any person for any loss or damage arising out of any error or omission in the ICB. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Charts and graphs are provided for illustrative purposes only. Index returns shown may not represent the results of the actual trading of investable assets. Certain returns shown may reflect back-tested performance. All performance presented prior to the index inception date is back-tested performance. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect when the index was officially launched. However, back-tested data may reflect the application of the index methodology with the benefit of hindsight, and the historic calculations of an index may change from month to month based on revisions to the underlying economic data used in the calculation of the index. FTSE Russell 9

11 About FTSE Russell FTSE Russell is a leading global provider of benchmarking, analytics and data solutions for investors, giving them a precise view of the market relevant to their investment process. A comprehensive range of reliable and accurate indexes provides investors worldwide with the tools they require to measure and benchmark markets across asset classes, styles or strategies. FTSE Russell index expertise and products are used extensively by institutional and retail investors globally. For over 30, leading asset owners, asset managers, ETF providers and investment banks have chosen FTSE Russell indexes to benchmark their investment performance and create ETFs, structured products and index-based derivatives. FTSE Russell is focused on applying the highest industry standards in index design and governance, employing transparent rules-based methodology informed by independent committees of leading market participants. FTSE Russell fully embraces the IOSCO Principles and its Statement of Compliance has received independent assurance. Index innovation is driven by client needs and customer partnerships, allowing FTSE Russell to continually enhance the breadth, depth and reach of its offering. FTSE Russell is wholly owned by London Stock Exchange Group. For more information, visit To learn more, visit or call your regional Client Service Team office: EMEA +44 (0) North America Asia-Pacific Hong Kong Tokyo Sydney +61 (0) FTSE Russell

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