China is poised to choose London as the first foreign financial center to issue government debt in renminbi, the Financial Times reported late Tuesday, citing officials close to the matter. The details of the debt issuance in the U.K. capital are still unknown, but the sources said a few billion renminbi, or yuan, in short-term notes were likely to be the first step. Renminbi is the official name of the Chinese currency, while yuan refers to the name of a unit of the renminbi currency. The debt would be issued by the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank. One of the sources talking to the FT said London had been chosen over other financial centers in Europe and the U.S., showing that Beijing prefers that city to build its offshore investment center. The scheme is likely to be announced next week when China's President Xi Jinping visits the U.K. It wouldn't, however, be the first ever renminbi debt program in London. The China Development Bank, a state-owned policy bank, last year issued two billion yuan ($320 million) of renminbi bonds in London. The U.K. government also sold renminbi bonds last year, making it the the first western country to do so.
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