Foreign credit ratings agencies are now allowed to rank the creditworthiness of onshore Chinese interbank bonds, a day after the bond-trading link between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong went live. According to Caixin, offshore investors have repeatedly voiced concerns about the low credibility of credit-risk assessments carried out by Chinese ratings agencies. For instance, domestic ratings usually take potential government or bank bailouts into account, which is not in line with international practice. China’s central bank said late Monday that foreign credit ratings agencies can assess and rank credit risks of onshore interbank bonds after registering with the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, a self-regulatory body. Interbank bonds account for 90% of the trading of onshore debts and are the only bonds that are now allowed to trade under the Bond Connect program. Agencies will be subject to oversight and are also required to report ratings that are expected to bring material or adverse changes to the market.
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