Beijing debt added to key global bonds index

FTSE Russell CEO Waqas Samad. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 26 September 2020

Beijing debt added to key global bonds index

  • Goldman Sachs said inclusion could see up to $140 billion flood into the debt market

BEIJING: Chinese government debt is set to be included on a key global bonds index, which could see tens of billions of dollars of foreign
investment in the country’s increasingly internationalized financial markets.
The move by FTSE Russell comes as trading in China becomes more controversial in Washington as relations between the superpowers grow fraught.
But analysts said the attraction of higher yields — the yield on 10-year Chinese government bonds is 2.4 percentage points higher than US Treasuries — and a relatively stable currency have made the country an attractive prospect for investors.
Inclusion in the World Government Bond index, which could begin next October if approved, means CGBs will be a must-have asset for investment giants such as pension funds desperate for good returns as the global bond market is battered by the pandemic.
Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor at the central People’s Bank of China, said investments in the Chinese market had grown more than 40 percent over the past three years, with 2.8 trillion yuan ($410 billion) of Chinese bonds held by international investors.
Goldman Sachs said inclusion could see up to $140 billion flood into the debt market. AxiCorp. strategist Stephen Innes said the move was “big news” which would open up China’s bond market to “a broader band of passive investors.”
FTSE Russell, which is owned by the London Stock Exchange, decided against including Chinese debt in the index last year owing to several worries such as liquidity and the settlement of transactions, but it said the concerns had been addressed. In the statement its CEO Waqas Samad said authorities had “worked hard to enhance the infrastructure of their government bond market.”
Jason Pang of JP Morgan Asset Management, said that while foreign ownership of CGBs had risen to about 9 percent from 2 percent in recent years, it is still well below the 15-30 percent seen in other Asian markets.
 But he added: “It is increasingly clear that China bonds’ globalization is simply a matter of time.”


Ice cream sales deliver cool quarter for Saudi Arabia’s Sadafco

Updated 39 min 1 sec ago

Ice cream sales deliver cool quarter for Saudi Arabia’s Sadafco

  • Second-quarter net profit rose 7.9 percent to $18.7 million

LONDON: Ice cream sales helped to boost earnings at Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff (Sadafco) in the second-quarter as the food processor maintained its market share in the Kingdom.

Second-quarter net profit rose 7.9 percent to $18.7 million (SR70.2 million) compared with a year earlier, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Food companies worldwide have had mixed fortunes this year as lockdowns helped to boost sales across many product lines while logistical problems hampered attempts to satisfy customer demand.

Sadafco said sales of both ice cream and consumer milk rose 2 percent over the quarter while tomato paste sales jumped by 15 percent. Its gross profit margins were broadly in line with a year earlier at 33 percent.

“Our performance this quarter and this period continues to strengthen over last year,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

However, it said that the tripling of value added tax (VAT) in the Kingdom had a significant impact on shopping basket cost.

Sadafco is expanding operations in Saudi Arabia with the construction of a new ice cream factory and the planned acquisition of Horizon Food Factory.

It currently operates two factories in Jeddah and another in Dammam.