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Hong Kong’s bond weathers the storm

July's global bond offering from the Hong Kong SAR was the first issue since colonial days and the first ever in US dollars

Deal: Hong Kong SAR government global bond offering

Size: HK$20 billion (US$2.56 billion)

Arrangers and joint global coordinators: Bank of China Group, HSBC, Merrill Lynch ? US$ international notes & HK$ international notes;

Bank of China Group, HSBC ? HK$ retail bonds

Joint lead managers and book runners: BOCI Asia/Goldman Sachs/HSBC/Merrill Lynch/Morgan Stanley ? US$ international notes;

BOCI Asia/Citigroup/HSBC/Merrill Lynch ? HK$ international notes;

Bank of China Group/HSBC/Standard Chartered Bank ? HK$ retail bonds

Date: July 2004

It is a testament to just how far Hong Kong has recovered from the nadir of mid 2003, when the Sars epidemic was at is height, that the Hong Kong government was able last month to launch a maiden global bond offering successfully to institutional and retail investors.

Following an initial announcement of the plan to issue up to HK$20 billion (US$2.56 billion) of bonds in his 2004/2005 budget speech in March, financial secretary Henry Tang and his colleagues wasted no time in pushing the necessary approvals through Hong Kong's legislative council in May and then swiftly brought the deal to market two months later in July.

Aimed principally at raising funding for local capital investment projects, the global bond offering was made up of three individual offers.

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