GLP to raise S$567 million

Mainboard-listed Global Logistic Properties (GLP) is offering 3 billion yuan (S$567 million) in fixed rate notes under its newly established medium-term note programme, a move that boosts Singapore’s role as an offshore centre for the Chinese currency.

GLP said yesterday its first yuan-denominated note is an integral part of its plan to diversify its sources of funding. The company, which has logistics facilities in China and Japan, added that net proceeds from the yuan notes would be used for general corporate purposes.

Mr Jeffrey Schwartz, GLP’s deputy chairman, said: “The exponential growth in the offshore yuan market has provided us with an opportunity to tap an additional capital pool with growing significance in the region to enhance our financial flexibility.”

GLP chief executive officer Ming Z Mei, said that, as the company expands its China portfolio, income received in yuan will be better aligned with the company’s issuance of yuan-denominated notes.

“In addition, we believe the approval by People’s Bank of China (PBOC) in issuing such offshore debt is an endorsement of our effort in improving the overall logistics infrastructure of China, further expanding our network to support the growth of domestic consumption in China.”

Beijing’s desire to redenominate more of its trade in yuan is giving rise to a new offshore centre in Singapore. Singapore now has a 150 billion yuan swap line with the PBOC, while its trade with China is about 2 per cent of China’s total.

The yuan products market has been taking off in earnest in Singapore. The city-state’s big lenders, including DBS and OCBC, already offer such products to customers, forming a launching pad for an offshore market.

Barclays Capital and UOB Asset Management were the first to issue yuan bond funds in Singapore for retail investors. China’s biggest bank, ICBC, opened its first branch in Singapore in March, to promote the use of yuan in bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

And last week, Monetary Authority of Singapore chairman Goh Chok Tong said that the PBOC would soon appoint a Chinese bank to clear yuan trades in Singapore.

The move would enable banks here to directly access onshore yuan, rather than having to route transactions via Hong Kong or banks on the mainland.

Source : Today – 26 Apr 2011

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