China resumes treasury futures trading after 18-year halt
Beijing: China re-launched trade of its treasury bond futures on Friday, 18 years after banning it following a multi-billion-yuan trading scandal.
The three five-year treasury bond futures contracts started trading on the Shanghai-based China Financial Futures Exchange, with the base value for December 2013 at 94.168 yuan (USD15.19), March 2014 contract at 94.188 yuan and June 2014 contract at 94.218 yuan.
The December contract, the most actively traded, debuted at 94.22 yuan, up 0.06 percent from the base price.
It ended the morning session at 94.314 yuan, up 0.16 percent, state run Xinhua news agency reported.
China introduced treasury bond futures in 1992 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The trading was halted in 1995 after Wanguo Securities, then the nation's largest brokerage, conducted illegal trading of a government bond futures contract which led to multi-billion-yuan losses and bankruptcy of the company.
Analysts said the reintroduction of trading is part of the government's effort to encourage the development of the treasury bond market, offer protection against market volatility and advance interest rate reform.
Xiao Gang, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said the re-launch will help the country build a market-oriented pricing mechanism in the financial market, proceed with interest rate liberation reform and diversify risk hedging tools for investors to better serve the real economy.