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Britain says China to launch renminbi sovereign bond in London

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - Britain's finance ministry welcomed China's decision to use London to launch its first sovereign bond to be issued outside of the world's second-largest economy.

The three-year bond is worth 3 billion yuan ($458 million), and is being marketed at a price similar to bonds being sold in Hong Kong, the usual venue for Chinese debt aimed at the offshore market.

"Choosing London as the destination to issue this bond ... reinforces the UK's strong economic and financial relationship with China," finance minister George Osborne said in a statement on Thursday.

Osborne has prioritised financial market links between Britain and China, and last year the People's Bank of China (HKSE: 3988-OL.HK - news) sold 5 billion yuan of short-term central bank notes in London for the first time. ($1 = 6.5550 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)