The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is issuing the first renminbi-denominated note under its global discount note programme, in a move to help the internationalisation of China’s currency.

The discount note is equivalent to about US$50mn, and the programme expands the availability of short-term local-currency finance for private companies in the offshore renmibi (Rmb) market.

“The IFC discount note programme introduces a new asset class for investors seeking high-quality credit, and short-term financing alternatives in the CNH market, contributing to the internationalisation of the Rmb,” says IFC vice-president and treasurer Jingdong Hua. “It reflects the IFC’s strategy to meet the growing demand for local currency loans, especially at the short end of the maturity spectrum.”

A discount note is a short-term debt obligation issued at a discount to par, with maturities of up to one year. In this case, the Rmb notes have a three-month maturity.

Standard Chartered Bank is the sole arranger for the global discount note programme and the sole arranger of the Rmb issue.

Jaspal Bindra, Standard Chartered group executive director and CEO for Asia, says: “The IFC’s discount note programme is yet another renminbi ‘first’ that Standard Chartered is proud to support. The launch of the programme has positive implications for companies looking for renminbi-denominated financing, and for investors seeking exposure to the currency. We look forward to our continued involvement in the programme as it develops.”