Local govts get nod for direct bond sales
The central government will let local governments apply for direct bond sales, according to comments made by FinanceMinister Lou Jiwei in a report on the 2014 budget deliveredWednesday to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The remarks were contained in a transcript posted on the finance ministry’s website on Thursday. Premier Li Keqiang is allowing regional authorities to raise money directly, after they accumulated 17.9 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion) in debt, in an effort to avert a slowdown in the world’s secondlargest economy. China’s towns and cities have used more than 10,000 financing vehicles to sell notes after they were barred from directly issuing bonds under a 1994 budget law.