Chinese cities rush to issue local government bonds, as Shanghai's quota expected to see 46% y-o-y increase
Published: Jun 23, 2022 12:13 AM
RMB Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

Chinese cities rushed to issue local government bonds in recent days under central government guidelines, with the bond quota of pandemic-battered Shanghai expected to surge by nearly 50 percent this year, according to data disclosed by a senior Shanghai official.

The local government bond quota for Shanghai stood at 179.3 billion yuan ($26.75 billion) for 2022, among which 76.8 billion yuan ($11.4 billion) were new local government bonds, while the rest were local government refinancing bonds, said Cao Jizhen, director of Shanghai's local finance bureau, the city's Jiefang Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

This would mean a 46.5 percent increase in the city's local government bonds quota. Last year, Shanghai's bond quota stood at 122.4 billion yuan ($18.2 billion).

According to the report, the quota will be used for projects including environmental protection, rural revitalization, wastewater treatment and transportation construction, among others.

Data also showed that Shanghai, whose economy has been severely battered by the recent coronavirus lockdown, is speeding up issuing local government bonds to stimulate economic growth.

According to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald, Shanghai would issue about 517.8 billion yuan ($77.3 billion) of local government bonds in the week ending June 24, the third highest in history. Last week, the city issued 616.7 billion yuan ($92 billion) of local government debt.

Information provided by financial data analysis company Wind showed that about 1.56 trillion yuan ($223.9 billion) of local government bonds have been issued or is about to be issued since June, likely to set a record to single-month issuance scale.

Since 2022, China's local governments have issued more than 4.4 trillion yuan ($656.9 billion) worth of bonds. By the end of June, China's total local government debt will hopefully approach about 5 trillion yuan ($746.6 billion).

China's local governments are also speeding up issuing bonds under the guidance of the central government. The State Council recently issued a document that requires local governments to issue most of the new special bond funds before the end of June.