The Hainan provincial government issued its first offshore renminbi bonds in Hong Kong on Thursday, signaling Hong Kong as the preferred platform for the mainland's provincial and municipal governments to issue renminbi debt products.

It marks the first offshore bond issuance by a mainland provincial government and a local government outside the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The successful experience of this bond issuance will demonstrate that Hong Kong is the preferred platform for issuing renminbi debt products …

John Lee Ka-chiu, chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The bond listing ceremony was held on Thursday at the Hong Kong bourse via a live webcast, attended by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, Hainan Governor Feng Fei, Finance Vice-Minister Xu Hongcai and officials and executives from the two regions.

Lee said Hainan province's bond issuance in Hong Kong holds significance in three ways.

The first is that it highlights Hong Kong's unique advantages of being "backed by the motherland and connected to the world", and Hong Kong's role as a bridge to the intersection of domestic and foreign circulation.

The second is its demonstration of the strong support for Hong Kong to consolidate the global offshore renminbi business hub.

Lee highlighted that Hainan's bond issuance in Hong Kong not only enriches the variety of renminbi debt products in the city but also promotes renminbi internationalization, which is a milestone.

"The successful experience of this bond issuance will demonstrate that Hong Kong is the preferred platform for issuing renminbi debt products, providing high-quality and professional one-stop services, attracting more mainland institutions to use Hong Kong's investment and financing platform and multiple channels to raise funds for Hong Kong financial services industry and the bond market," the chief executive added.

The third is that it demonstrates Hong Kong's status as a green and sustainable financial hub in the region as the preferred platform for issuing green products.

The Hainan provincial government is offering local government bonds in an offshore renminbi value not exceeding 5 billion yuan ($691.8 million) in two, three and five-year tenors.

The two-year bonds are blue bonds, of which the proceeds will mainly be used for maritime economy and marine protection projects. The three and five-year bonds are sustainability bonds.

Meanwhile, the Shenzhen municipal government in Guangdong province also announced this week to offer local government bonds not exceeding 5 billion yuan.

Chen Jianheng, chief analyst at CICC Fixed Income Research, said Hong Kong, as an international financial center, has provided unique external market support for the diversified development of Hong Kong's renminbi bond market.

"Internally, with the vigorous development of the mainland economy, demand for domestic investors for global asset distribution may become higher and higher, and demand for funds to go south will also increase the attention of the offshore renminbi bond market," Chen added.