More bond issuances to bankroll Belt and Road

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BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Companies now have a new channel to finance their Belt and Road projects as China has introduced Belt and Road bonds to fund the massive initiative.

The Zhejiang-based Hengyi Petrochemical Co. on Monday issued 500 million yuan (79 million U.S. dollars) of three-year Belt and Road corporate bonds on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The proceeds from the bonds will be used to fund the company's petrochemical project in Brunei, it said in a statement to the bourse.

This came after China allowed domestic and overseas companies as well as government-backed institutions in countries along the Belt and Road to issue such bonds via the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said Friday that it had approved applications from seven domestic and overseas companies to issue a combined 50 billion yuan in Belt and Road bonds to fund the initiative.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa based on ancient land and maritime trade routes.

Chinese companies have built 75 zones for economic and trade cooperation in 24 countries along the Belt and Road routes, contributing more than 2.21 billion U.S. dollars of taxes and creating almost 209,000 local jobs.

It is necessary to expand financing channels to meet the huge funding demand along the Belt and Road, said Jiang Chao, a senior researcher at Haitong Securities. He expected the Belt and Road bond issuances to continue to increase.

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