Exchange Fund Bills & Notes
Exchange Fund Bills and Notes Issuance Programme
Exchange Fund Bills and Notes are Hong Kong dollar debt securities issued by the HKMA. They constitute direct, unsecured, unconditional and general obligations of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for the account of the Exchange Fund and have the same status as all other unsecured debt of the Government. The Bills and Notes are for the account of and payable from the Exchange Fund.
The Exchange Fund Bills and Notes Issuance Programme ensures the supply of a significant amount of high-quality Hong Kong dollar debt paper, which can be employed as trading, investment and hedging instruments. Authorized Institutions that maintain Hong Kong dollar clearing accounts with the HKMA may use their holdings of Exchange Fund papers to borrow Hong Kong dollars overnight from the Discount Window. Active primary and secondary markets for Exchange Fund Bills and Notes, and the establishment of a reliable benchmark yield curve for up to 15 years has facilitated the development of a sophisticated Hong Kong dollar debt market.
Retail investors may obtain the indicative bid and offer prices of Exchange Fund papers quoted by major banks in Hong Kong at the CMU Bond Price Bulletin website developed by the HKMA's Central Moneymarkets Unit ( www.cmu.org.hk ).
Exchange Fund Bills
The Exchange Fund Bills Programme was introduced in March 1990. Under the programme, bills of 91-, 182- and 364-day maturity are regularly auctioned by public tender.
For more details, please refer to the Information Memorandum of Exchange Fund Bills Programme (PDF File, 87KB).
Exchange Fund Notes
Two-year and three-year Exchange Fund Notes were introduced in May and October 1993 respectively. This was followed by the issue of five-year Exchange Fund Notes in September 1994, seven-year Exchange Fund Notes in November 1995, 10-year Exchange Fund Notes in October 1996 and 15-year Exchange Fund Notes in August 2007.
For more details, please refer to the Information Memorandum of Exchange Fund Notes Programme (PDF File, 430KB).
Recognised Dealers, Market Makers and Eligible Market Makers
In Hong Kong, the Exchange Fund Bills and Notes Programmes adopt a two-tier dealership scheme. The HKMA has appointed Recognised Dealers and Market Makers to support, with different degrees of commitment, the development of the Exchange Fund Bills and Notes market. Recognised Dealers are financial institutions maintaining Securities Accounts with the HKMA for holding Exchange Fund papers. Market Makers, appointed from the pool of Recognised Dealers, are responsible for maintaining liquidity in the secondary market. In particular, they undertake to quote two-way prices upon request during normal trading hours of Exchange Fund paper. From 3 July 2007, only the most active Market Makers, determined based on criteria set by the HKMA, are appointed Eligible Market Makers and invited to participate in the primary market.
Exchange Fund Bills and Notes Fixings
The HKMA began publishing Official Fixings for Exchange Fund Bills and Notes in 16 December 2002. The Exchange Fund Bills are fixed on a mid-yeild basis, and the benchmark tenors are one week, one, three, six, nine and 12 months. The Exchange Fund Notes are fixed on a mid-price basis, and the benchmark tenors are two, three, four, five, seven, 10 and 15 years. The fixings are calculated daily by Reuters based on quotes as at 11:00 a.m. (Hong Kong time) provided by market makers designated by the HKMA (PDF File, 18KB). The fixing for each of the benchmarks is calculated by taking the arithmetic mean of the middle eight quotes from the Market Makers, after excluding the two highest and the two lowest quotes. The Official Fixings are calculated and published via major news wire agencies at 11:30 a.m. (Hong Kong time) on every trading day of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes and a set of Closing Reference rates is calculated and published at 4:30 p.m. (Hong Kong time). In addition, indicative mid-yield and mid-price quotes are posted for off-the-run Exchange Fund Bills and Notes issues
For more details, please refer to the Reference Manual of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes Fixings (PDF File, 51KB).
Use of Exchange Fund Paper as Margin Collateral
The Hong Kong Futures Exchange has accepted Exchange Fund papers as margin collateral for trading in stock options and futures since 13 December 1999. Exchange Fund papers can be used as collateral in Hong Kong dollar repurchase transactions. The use of Exchange Fund papers as collateral for a wide range of products increases the liquidity of the Hong Kong dollar fixed-income market and helps reduce systemic risk.