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Dim Sum Bond


A Dim Sum Bond is a debt instrument issued outside of China, but denominated in Chinese Renminbi, rather than in the currency of the country where it is issued. They were first introduced in 2007. Dim Sum bonds can help investors participate in China’s economic development without exposure to the country’s foreign-exchange rules.


The phonetics of the keyword “Dim Sum Bond” would be: Dim – /dɪm/ Sum – /sʌm/ Bond – /bɒnd/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Local Currency: Dim Sum Bonds are bonds issued outside of mainland China but are denominated in Chinese yuan, rather than the currency of the country where it is issued. This is a way for issuers to raise funds in yuan for a variety of uses, including financing operations in China. They provide exposure to yuan-denominated assets, without the need to go through the Chinese regulatory authorities.
  2. Investor Appeal: Dim Sum bonds can be an attractive option for foreign investors looking for exposure to yuan-denominated assets and the potential of higher yields than they might get on similar, U.S.-denominated securities. Furthermore, they can be a hedge against currency risk, especially for investors who believe that the yuan will appreciate over time.
  3. Risks: The major risk of investing in Dim Sum Bonds is the currency risk, as the performance of these bonds is tied heavily to the performance of the yuan against the investor’s home currency. There’s also default risk, which is the risk that the issuer will be unable to make payments on the bond, and liquidity risk, as there might not be a huge market for these bonds.


The term “Dim Sum Bond” is significant in business/finance because it refers to a bond issued outside China but denominated in Chinese Renminbi, rather than the local currency. The importance of this bond is multi-dimensional. Firstly, it allows foreign investors to get exposure to Chinese currency, yuan, which is beneficial for those who speculate currency appreciation. Secondly, it provides foreigners a way to invest in China’s growth without the need to go through various legal compliances required to invest in the Chinese domestic market. Thirdly, for issuers, primarily multinational corporates and foreign governments, it provides a tool to raise funds in Renminbi (RMB). Essentially, Dim Sum Bonds are key financial instruments that facilitate the internationalization of the RMB and China’s further integration into the global economy.


The primary purpose of a Dim Sum bond is to offer companies a method for raising money in the international markets while also allowing for the diversification of currency risk. Companies from anywhere in the world can use Dim Sum bonds to raise capital without having to worry about exchange rates or monetary policy in their home country. Moreover, they can also tap into the vast pool of capital available in foreign markets. For investors, Dim Sum bonds offer the opportunity to invest in foreign companies and potentially earn a higher rate of return, underpinned by exposure to China’s economy or other emerging economies, without confronting the associated currency risks.In addition to providing financing for corporations, Dim Sum bonds have been used by international investors to gain exposure to the Chinese economy without directly investing in a potentially volatile Chinese stock market. They are an effective instrument for those who want to diversify their portfolios by including assets denominated in RMB, but who also want to minimize the risk associated with exchange rates. Dim Sum bonds also provide an avenue for institutional investors with large amounts of capital to invest in the Chinese marketplace, thus facilitating capital inflow into China. Therefore, Dim Sum bonds play a significant role in global finance by bridging the capital needs of corporations with the investment needs of the international investor community.


1. HSBC Holdings Plc: In July 2007, HSBC became the first foreign bank to issue a Dim Sum bond. The bond which was worth RMB 1 billion ($158 million USD) had a tenure of three years and marked the opening of the offshore Chinese Renminbi (CNH) market. 2. McDonald’s Corporation: In August 2010, McDonald’s Corporation became the first foreign non-financial company to issue a Dim Sum bond. The fast-food giant raised RMB 200 million ($29.5 million USD), indicating confidence that China’s currency would continue to appreciate. 3. Caterpillar: In November 2010, the heavy equipment maker Caterpillar issued its first-ever Dim Sum bond, aiming to raise RMB 1 billion ($149 million USD). The bond helped diversify the company’s funding and gave it more exposure to the Chinese yuan to utilize in its expanding China-based operations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Dim Sum Bond?

A Dim Sum Bond is a bond issued outside of China but denominated in Chinese Renminbi, rather than the currency of the country where it is issued.

Where are Dim Sum Bonds typically issued?

These bonds are often issued in Hong Kong, allowing investors to invest in Renminbi assets without directly investing within mainland China.

What are the benefits of investing in Dim Sum Bonds?

The primary benefit is the potential for a higher yield due to China’s growing economy. It also provides investors a way to diversify their portfolio.

Why is it named a Dim Sum Bond?

The term is derived from Dim Sum, a Cantonese cuisine served in small portions, symbolizing that these bonds allow foreign investors a taste of Chinese investments without the potential risk and difficulty of direct investment within mainland China.

Who are the main investors in Dim Sum Bonds?

Corporate investors, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, and individual investors looking to diversify their portfolio into Renminbi assets are the primary investors in Dim Sum Bonds.

Are Dim Sum Bonds high risk?

Dim Sum Bonds do carry specific risks, mainly currency risk as fluctuations in the value of the Renminbi against the investor’s home currency can impact the bond’s value. It’s recommended investors evaluate these risks thoroughly before investing.

How can I invest in a Dim Sum Bond?

You can invest in a Dim Sum Bond through investment banks or brokerages that offer investment products in the Asian market.

Is the interest income from Dim Sum Bonds taxable?

The taxation of interest income from these bonds is based on the investor’s home country’s tax laws. It’s best to consult with a finance professional or investment advisor for specifics.

What influences the value of Dim Sum Bonds?

Several factors can impact the value of Dim Sum Bonds: foreign exchange rates, interest rates in China, and the economic health and policies of the Chinese government can all affect the value of these bonds.

Related Finance Terms

  • Yuan-denominated Bond: A type of bond denominated in Chinese yuan and issued in Hong Kong by both Chinese and foreign companies.
  • Hong Kong Securities Market: The primary marketplace where Dim Sum Bonds are issued and traded.
  • Offshore RMB Market: Refers to the RMB business conducted outside mainland China, in which the Dim Sum Bonds are a major part.
  • Renminbi (RMB): The official currency of mainland China, in which Dim Sum Bonds are denominated. It is also known as Chinese yuan (CNY).
  • Currency Risk: A type of risk resulting from changes in the value of currency. Investors in Dim Sum Bonds take on currency risk because of the bond’s denomination in RMB.

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