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China drives third straight record year for emerging market bond issuance

[LONDON] Emerging market bond issuance hit a record high this year for the third straight year, Reuters data shows, driven by a more than doubling of Chinese issues.

The Reuters Deals Insight figures show that more than US$525 billion of bonds have been underwritten so far this year, up from US$473.3 billion last year, with Chinese issuance surging 123 per cent, India 52 per cent and Brazil 21 per cent.

Emerging market governments have been cashing in on strong demand from investors for higher yielding assets as central banks around the world have cut interest rates to record lows.

Whereas China, India and Brazil and also Hong Kong drove the rise in activity, the strains over Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the West on Russia saw issuance there plummet 80 per cent compared to last year.

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Russian firms have been largely locked out of international bond markets for much of the year due to sanctions imposed after Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and perceived backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.