Making its first debt offer to global investors, the Hong Kong government said it would begin selling US and Hong Kong dollar-denominated bonds worth a total of US$2.6 billion. The effort, backed by principal underwriters Bank of China group, HSBC Holdings and Merrill Lynch, will start with conference calls with investors in Hong Kong and Beijing and then move on to Frankfurt, London and US cities. Investment houses will be offered USD bonds with 10-year maturities and HKD bonds with five- and 15-year maturities. Retail investors will be offered HKD bonds with two- and four-year maturities. The sale helps the government diversify funding sources and gives a boost to the Hong Kong debt market, long seen as the weak spot in its development as a global financial center. The bonds will be listed on Hong Kong's stock exchange.