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Bank of China in first yuan bond issue in Paris

Authorities lowered the yuan's central rate against the US dollar by nearly five percent in a single week, which should make Chinese exports cheaper on world markets (AFP Photo/-)

Paris (AFP) - The Bank of China issued yuan-denominated bonds in Paris for the first time on Tuesday, raising two billion yuan (240 million euros, $326 million) in the process, the Paris Europlace organisation said.

The issue was the latest step towards closer cooperation between China and France in the financial sector since their central banks established a clearing house for yuan transactions in June.

Paris wants to become a leader in Europe for trade in China's tightly controlled currency, also known as the renminbi.

The bond issue "completes the BoC Paris' financial activities plan", a statement said in reference to the Chinese central bank's Paris branch.

The sale was managed by BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole-CIB and HSBC, and aimed at "supporting the commercial and financial development of eurozone companies that are active in China," a statement said.

Beijing is trying to gradually increase global use of its currency by easing controls and widening the band within which the yuan is allowed to trade against foreign currencies.

The creation of a yuan clearing house in Paris makes it easier for French-based firms to carry out commercial operations and make investments in China.

Paris Europlace is an organisation tasked with promoting and developing financial marketplaces in Paris.