ISSUANCE of Hong Kong-dollar debt securities is rising, while non-Hong Kong dollar debt has been on the wane as Hong Kong seeks to build up its debt market, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority says. Issuance of Hong Kong dollar-denominated debt rose 160 per cent last year to $60.1 billion, Andrew Sheng, the authority's deputy chief executive, yesterday told a conference hosted by the monetary group and the World Bank. Non-Hong Kong dollar debt has fallen during the same period by 32 per cent to $42.2 billion. Mr Sheng said the authority was open to other instruments and a report on a secondary-mortgage market was being prepared. He also hinted a bond market equivalent of an H share might be introduced in the future. However, he said Hong Kong needed to build up its institutional investor base. Issues of negotiable certificates of deposit by multinationals totalled $11 billion at the end of last year, he said, while corporate issuance was on the rise. Mr Sheng told the conference that interest in Hong Kong's debt market had grown at the retail level, while more fund managers and corporates are investing in local debt securities. The conference has focused on the relative standings of regional debt markets and how regional infrastructure will be funded. In less than 10 years, the East Asian bond market could top US$1 trillion in size, according to the World Bank, which is predicting cumulative regional gross domestic fixed investment of US$8 trillion over the same period. The World Bank said US$5 trillion of this total would come from private investment but warned some bond markets in the region lacked the necessary financial infrastructure. Mr Sheng said the Hong Kong market was growing strongly, and the monetary authority was moving to improve its financial underpinnings. Hong Kong represented the best springboard for the China market and complemented regional markets, he said. Hong Kong was developing a benchmark for investors to price bonds with its programme of Exchange Fund issuance, and was moving to improve debt market infrastructure, he said. The monetary authority's liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) had been established as part of this drive, he said.