(McDonald's Chinese bond sale story updated with analyst commentary and recent market activity.)



) --


(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report

said early Thursday it raised $29.4 million through yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong.

McDonald's was the first non-financial multinational company to issue a yuan-denominated bond in China after the country began allowing its currency to be used for cross-border trade last year. Others may be looking to follow suit. Reports indicate that

Wal-Mart Stores

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may follow the fast-food purveyor's lead with its own offering.


McDonald's uses hedging instruments all over the world," Stifel Nicolaus analyst Steve West told


. "That's essentially all this is, and not a lot of money."

West said McDonald's bond sale was indicative of the company's ongoing strategy "to manage foreign currency risk around the world."

Standard Chartered Bank

launched the bond for McDonald's, and said its issuance signified "the commencement of a new funding channel for international companies to raise working capital for their China operations."

The three-year bond was sold to institutional investors at a 3% interest rate, maturing in 2013, to raise 200 million yuan ($29.4 million). McDonald's will use the proceeds to help fund its expansion in China. The burger-and-fries behemoth has plans to open as many as 175 new restaurants in the Middle Kingdom this year, adding to its roster of 1,100 China-based locations.

West added that McDonald's will use the funds not only to open new stores but to remodel older ones, and to return value to shareholders.

McDonald's may have been the first non-financial multinational to issue yuan-denominated bonds, but will likely not be the last. In March

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Wal-Mart Stores

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' Asia CEO Scott Price said Wal-Mart was considering such an issuance.

"Wal-Mart is in Asia and in China for the long term," Price said in an interview with


. The company wants "the Chinese people to know that we see a responsibility to help build their economy," he said.

McDonald's shares traded 0.9% lower in early-afternoon trading Thursday.

McDonald's Stock Rating Report (MCD) Rating and Financial Analysis

-- Reported by Miriam Marcus Reimer from New York.


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