B.C. Business Matters:
Tom Syer >>
What Does BC’s Triple A Credit Rating Have To Do With Dim Sum?
By Tom Syer
In a world that is riddled with debt-laden governments, BC’s comparatively low debt-to-GDP ratio and coveted triple A credit rating are increasingly being viewed as strategic advantages that can help to promote the province from a fiscal and investment perspective.
Last week witnessed an important step in this arena. The province of BC became the first foreign government to issue bonds denominated in the Chinese Renminbi (CNH) market. Called a ‘Dim Sum’ bond, the one year bond was priced at 2.25% and raised over $428 million Canadian on an over-subscribed issuance.
This matters for a number of reasons. First from a fiscal perspective, developing stronger financial ties to Asia instills greater awareness and confidence in BC as an attractive, credit-worthy jurisdiction that is able to borrow at favourable interest rates. Second, as Asian bond investors continue to expand their influence globally, BC may benefit from a first mover advantage of going into the CNH market ahead of other governments. Third, and arguably most importantly from a business lens, the diversification of liquidity into the Asian bond market by the government can help pave the way for future business bond sales as well.
Over time, these new sources of global liquidity will be increasingly important as the global economy shifts toward the Asia-Pacific. Developing fiscal and financial market relationships through government bond sales is a creative means of exposing Asian investors to BC generally and to the provincial government’s triple A credit rating more specifically.
And as this global ‘first’ for government bond sales proved, it turns out that BC’s triple A credit rating was indeed a tasty treat for those investing in the growing ‘Dim Sum’ bond market.
This success can be further leveraged through expanded business relationships that can also drive investment and ultimately, foster a greater understanding of how both parties can benefit from the fiscal stability offered here in BC.