Asia Bond Monitor - September 2018

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Local currency bond markets in emerging East Asia grew 3.2% from the first quarter of 2018, with government bonds expanded 4.0% and corporate bonds rose 1.8%. Local currency (LCY) bond yields in emerging East Asia diverged due to disparate monetary policy stances across the region and global economic uncertainties. In the People's Republic of China (PRC), yields fell as the central bank reduced the reserve requirement ratios for some banks, while yields rose in Indonesia in response to its central bank's monetary tightening and in the Philippines where the central bank raised policy rates in May and June. Emerging East Asia's local currency bond market grew to a size of $12.6 trillion at the end of June, posting moderate growth of 3.2% quarter-on-quarter. Growth accelerated from 1.1% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter due to a jump in the region's aggregate issuance. Continued monetary tightening in the United States (US) and signs that the euro area will begin tightening contributed to the depreciation of most emerging East Asian currencies. This issue includes three special discussion boxes on (i) the impact of ongoing global trade tensions, in particular PRC-US trade tensions, on regional financial markets; (ii) green bond issuance in Asia; and (iii) the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and their potential effect on financial stability.