China leads Asian companies’ drive to pile on debt

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Asian companies have shrugged off concerns about the US retreat from global trade agreements to issue a record sum of high-yield debt.

Junk corporate bond issuers in Asia have sold $13bn of bonds so far in 2017 according to data from Thomson Reuters – up from just $1.6bn last year.

China is dominating sales, accounting for more than half of the market share, with financial companies and industrials the largest sectors.

Asia’s dollar-denominated junk bond market offered few opportunities for investors at the start of last year as fears of slowing global growth left investors unwilling to lend in dollars, while easier conditions in domestic markets enabled companies to find more opportunities for cheap funding in their own currencies.

However higher commodity prices and China’s economic resilience has spurred a resurgence of demand for emerging market debt issued in dollars this year.

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