HSBC Holdings said on Wednesday that it plans to issue a yuan-denominated bond in London, the first issue of a “dim sum” bond in the city, marking a milestone in London’s efforts to become a centre for offshore yuan trading alongside Hong Kong. The announcement of the bond issue by Europe’s biggest bank coincides with the launch by the City of London Corporation of a working group including five major banks to develop the city into a major centre for offshore yuan business, which was welcomed by British finance minister George Osborne. “It is the ambition of the British government to make London a western hub for the sector -with all the benefits that this will bring to our own economy,” Osborne said in a speech. Meanwhile, HSBC Bank Middle East, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, has entered into an agreement with Oman International Bank (OIB) to merge its Oman branch (HSBC Oman) with OIB. Following the merger, HSBC will hold 51 per cent of the combined entity which will be re-named HSBC Bank Oman SOAG.