New Hong Kong-China bond trade link widens foreign access

Hong Kong and mainland China are launching a long-awaited cross-border bond trading platform that further widens access to China's financial markets for global investors.

Central bank officials in Hong Kong and the mainland said Tuesday that the Bond Connect program will let investors trade bonds on each other's markets.

Bond Connect follows similar cross-border trading links between Hong Kong and China's stock markets in Shanghai and the southern city of Shenzhen.

No formal launch date was given.

It will begin by giving Hong Kong and overseas investors "northbound" access to the China interbank bond market. A joint statement said the "southbound" leg for mainland Chinese investors "will be explored in due course."

At $9.4 trillion in value, China's bond market is the world's third largest.