The World Bank has issued its first renminbi-denominated bond in over two years, raising US$75.9 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. The organization said the decision to borrow in the Chinese currency is a mark of its support for the renminbi debt market. The triple-A rated bond matures on January 14, 2013 and has a coupon of 0.95%. Hong Kong has become a hub for trading in renminbi – and a testing bed for the internationalization of the currency – after Beijing eased some restrictions on capital controls and allowed trade transactions to be settled in renminbi rather than US dollars. Issuance of renminbi-denominated bonds in the territory more than doubled to reach US$5.36 billion last year. McDonald’s (MCD.NYSE) and Caterpillar (CAT.NYSE) were the first overseas non-financial firms to sell renminbi bonds and other companies are lining up to participate. In December, Russia’s JSC VTB Bank (VTBR.LSE, VTBR.MICEX, VTBR.RTS) became the first emerging-market issuer outside of Asia to sell renminbi debt.