Allen & Overy is reporting that it was international counsel to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Poland on its issue of RMB3 billion (approximately EUR 405 million) panda bonds, underwritten by Bank of China Limited and HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited. China's Zhong Lun Law Firm was Chinese counsel to the Ministry of Finance, and the Global Law Office advised the banks.
According to Allen & Overy, with the issuance Poland — the country’s first CNY-denominated issuance — becomes the first European sovereign to issue a CNY-denominated bonds in China’s domestic capital markets.
"The panda bond market is still in development stages as regulations for these issuances continue to evolve," said A&O Hong Kong Counsel Agnes Tsang, who co-led the firm’s work on the deal along with Warsaw-based Partner Piotr Lesinski, "but the sentiment is that panda bonds will continue to gain traction particularly for those foreign entities with an interest in the China market. Poland’s issuance is indicative of this and could also pave the way for further European sovereigns." Lesinski and Tsang were supported by Lukasz Walczyna, Alice Leung, Tian Tian Wang and Cammy Man.
A&O reports that it has been mandated on a number of panda bond issuances since Chinese regulators announced they would make it easier for foreign issuers to access the market last summer. Most recently the firm advised on Chong Hing Bank’s panda bond issue that debuted in April.