S&P Global (China) Ratings Expands Its Capabilities in China’s Domestic Bond Market


S&P Global (China) Ratings is authorized to rate issuers and issuances from:

  • Corporates
  • Financial institutions
  • Structured finance
  • Panda bonds


As China continues to develop and open its capital markets, more international investors are eager to participate in the domestic markets. As the first wholly foreign-owned credit rating agency allowed to operate domestically in China, S&P Ratings (China) Co., Ltd, a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of S&P Global, has demonstrated its inherent value to investors across the globe.

In January 2019, S&P Ratings (China) Co., Ltd., was granted a first-of-its-kind license to enter the domestic bond market in China. Based in Beijing with a team of approximately 50 employees, the new rating agency was officially launched in March 2019 and soon after issued ratings and cross-sector research under the brand name S&P Global (China) Ratings and 标普信评.

In October 2020, S&P Global (China) Ratings completed its registration filing for China’s exchange bond market, becoming the first wholly foreign-owned CRA with the broadest remit in China.

The company employs its own ratings’ standards, criteria, and methodology, with compliance and control standards derived from those of S&P Global Ratings. It has adopted a national rating scale in recognition of the size and diversity of China’s domestic capital markets, applying a methodology relevant to those onshore markets. S&P Global (China) Ratings aims to bring onshore an international standard of ratings principles and combine it with on-the-ground local insights to provide forward-looking and granular ratings to domestic and international investors. It is also working with S&P Global Market Intelligence to meet the needs of fixed-income investors interested in China, bringing new depths of insight and analysis to this significant market.

China’s Domestic and Offshore Bond Markets

  • China’s offshore bond market: 
    S&P Global Ratings currently rates offshore bonds for hundreds of companies in China, including issuances in Renminbi and other major currencies. S&P Global (China) Ratings works with these same issuers and assigns domestic ratings to Chinese issuers and debt. 
  • China’s domestic onshore bond market is one of the largest bond markets in the world. S&P Global (China) Ratings’ entry responds to a demand for more transparency and greater granularity around credit risk in the Chinese market. S&P Global views this as a longer-term initiative as China’s debt market develops over the next three to five years.

China’s bond market is one of the largest in the world

Total Bonds Outstanding

Domestic and International Debt Securities
(dollars in trillions) (as of 9/31/2021)

Source:  Bank for International Settlements

Approximately 26% of financing in China is through bond financing

as of 12/31/2021

Source: People’s Bank of China

Foreign investors are increasing in China’s bond market

Chinese Bonds Held by Foreign Investors

(yuan in trillions)

Sources:  China Central Depository & Clearing, Shanghai Clearing House

S&P Global (China) Ratings’ entry into China’s domestic bond market is a long-term initiative that will develop over the next three to five years


Beginning in September 2018, the bond financing category was revised to include both corporate and government bonds. Previously, only corporate bonds were included