The launch of the European single currency has not been the success story everyone had predicted, according to an Austrian financial official. Austrian Federal Financing Agency managing director Helmut Eder, in Hong Kong to promote his country's bond market, said the weakness of the euro against the US dollar was causing concern among Asian investors. He said, however, the new currency's launch had significantly raised interest among Asian investors in Austrian debt instruments. 'The quality of the issue, volatility of the market and the relatively weak euro are the main concerns for investors,' Mr Eder said. He said prior to the launch of the euro, Asian investors had not been interested in buying Austrian schilling-denominated bonds and the market had been limited. 'We really saw no interest at all [from Asia]. Now, using the euro, it's huge. People are using it for diversification,' Mr Eder said. Austria plans to sell between 15 billion euros (about HK$123.4 billion) and 18 billion euros of debt this year. Investors can buy a AAA rated Austrian government bond that yields about 17 basis points more than one with a similar maturity from Germany, or five basis points more than one from France. According to Angel Men Chan, head of debt syndication at HSBC markets, much of the interest is coming from Asian central banks.