By Scott Murdoch and Pei Li
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese technology giant Tencent kicked off its offer of bonds worth up to $6 billion in Hong Kong on Wednesday, launching the sale even as riot police fired pepper spray to disperse protesters in the city's central business district.
The deal is the biggest international offering by an Asian company this year and will be the first time the social media and gaming firm has offered ultra-long 40-year debt.
Protests have returned to the streets of Chinese-ruled Hong Kong after Beijing proposed national security laws aimed at tackling secession, subversion and terrorist activities.
Police on Wednesday fired pepper spray to quell protests against the government's move to make it illegal to disrespect the Chinese national anthem.
Hong Kong-listed Tencent will finalise its bond deal in New York later on Wednesday, two sources said.
Tencent has a quota from China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for up to $6 billion, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
The sources could not be named because the information has not yet been made public.
A term sheet reviewed by Reuters shows the company plans to sell bonds in five-, 10-, 30- and 40-year maturities.
A book message sent to investors by the lead banks, seen by Reuters, showed there were $10 billion worth of orders from investors in the early afternoon in Hong Kong.
Tencent declined to comment on the potential size of the deal. The deal is being led in Hong Kong by Bank of America, HSBC and Morgan Stanley.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)