The 'canto bond' was born yesterday with Standard Chartered christening what it hopes will be an addition to the global lexicon of foreign company-issued fixed-income products, that includes the yankee, the samurai and the bulldog. Pioneering the canto bond is the near-HK$1 billion retail bond issued by Ford Credit, the financing arm of United States-based car giant Ford Motor. The issue is the first by a foreign company in Hong Kong's retail bond market. 'As it is a ground-breaking bond issue, we want to give it a name,' said Brian Yiu, the head of debt capital markets at Standard Chartered. 'In addition to yankee bonds and samurai bonds, the world now has another brand new bond. 'We have yet to think about copyright issues, but we definitely hope this will be the standard for future foreign issuers in the local retail debt market.' Mr Yiu hopes canto bonds will be associated with Hong Kong's financial markets in the same way that its music stars define the city's bubblegum pop culture. 'The term is associated with Canto pop ... and is meant to reflect the appeal of this type of bond to the public and the relationship that these bonds have with day-to-day life in Hong Kong,' Mr Yiu said. 'We hope that the Ford Credit issue will be the first of many more canto bonds to be seen in the market.' The Hong Kong dollar portion of the Ford Credit three-year retail bond - worth HK$500 million - was fully taken up by local investors, while the US dollar tranche - worth US$60 million - remained open for sale as of yesterday. Confirming Hong Kong investors' hunt for yield and companies' appetite for cheap fund-raising is the proposed HK$500 million retail bond to be issued by Cheung Kong (Holdings) this month. This offer will have a Hong Kong dollar and an Australian dollar tranche. Standard & Poor's corporate and infrastructure ratings associate, Renee Lam, said local corporates would benefit from a more diversified funding source and a wider investor base instead of relying purely on bank funding. Companies were likely to be rewarded for diversifying their funding sources through the issuance of new debt products by enhanced credit ratings, she said.