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China removes top official of free trade zone: media
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Sept 15, 2014

China issues yuan bonds in Paris for first time
Paris (AFP) Sept 15, 2014 - China took a new step towards international use of its currency, the yuan, on Monday when it successfully launched yuan-based bonds in Paris for the first time.

The bonds, intended to raise 2.0 billion yuan (240 million euros, $310 million) were issued by the state-owned Bank of China.

The issue attracted a strong level of interest, and demand amounted to 3.65 times the amount offered, the president of the central bank Tian Guoli said at a ceremony at the premises of the Paris Euronext market.

"Investor demand has been very strong and this shows that the process of the internationalisation of the yuan is maturing," he said.

In June, China and France signed an agreement for yuan clearing arrangements, one of a number of such accords Beijing has sought with foreign countries to help boost use of its currency overseas.

Yuan clearing allows companies and financial institutions to use the currency for cross-border transactions, and promotes liberalisation of trade and investment.

Britain said last week that it would be the first country outside China to issue yuan-denominated bonds, as London seeks to become a Western hub for trading in the Chinese currency.

China has removed a senior official of its much-heralded Shanghai free-trade zone (FTZ) less than a year after it was opened, state media said Monday, amid reports he was under investigation for corruption.

The official Xinhua news agency said Dai Haibo was no longer the Communist Party chief and executive deputy director of the zone, which was set up on September 29 last year. It gave no reason.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post on Monday quoted anonymous sources as saying he was suspected of "disciplinary violations", a phrase which typically refers to corruption.

Dai was the public face of the FTZ, appearing at news conferences and running the zone's administration on a day-to-day basis.

When China launched the FTZ last year, officials promised widespread reform including free convertibility of the yuan currency, but the slow pace of change has frustrated businesses, especially foreign companies.

In July, Shanghai released a revised "negative list" of what is barred in the FTZ following criticism the previous list was too long, but the changes were limited.

At a press conference to unveil the new list, Dai continued to tout the benefits of the FTZ.

"The Shanghai free trade zone is a test field for the country's deepening of reform and opening," he told reporters at the time.


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