China said Wednesday it is planning to raise 20 billion yuan ($3.10 billion) from its third and largest sovereign bond issue in Hong Kong this month. The latest issue comes as Beijing aims to turn the Chinese unit into a global currency. \"The issuance of the yuan-denominated bond in Hong Kong is an important measure to support Hong Kong to become the offshore yuan trading centre,\" China\'s finance ministry said in a statement. The bond will also strengthen Hong Kong as an international financial hub, it added. Hong Kong\'s government welcomed the issue, saying it \"demonstrates clearly\" Beijing\'s support for its bid to be an offshore yuan market. The ministry said it will sell 15 billion yuan to institutional investors while the rest will go to retail investors. The institutional tranche comprises 6 billion yuan of three-year paper, 5 billion yuan of five-year paper, 3 billion yuan of seven-year paper and 1 billion yuan of 10-year paper. Beijing\'s previous sovereign bond issues in September 2009 and November 2010 in the southern Chine city -- which maintains a semi-autonomous status with its own currency -- raised six billion yuan and eight billion yuan, respectively. Yuan-related financial products have been booming in Hong Kong, which has been acting as a test bed for Beijing\'s ambitious goal to turn the unit into a global currency. In 2009, China approved using the yuan to settle cross-border trade with Hong Kong and last year it relaxed rules to allow non-financial foreign firms to issue yuan-denominated bonds. US fast food giant McDonald\'s, heavy equipment maker Caterpillar and the World Bank have launched yuan-denominated bond offerings in Hong Kong while budget carrier Hong Kong Airlines also said it was considering a similar bid.