China's move to open up its fixed income market to foreign investors will eventually unleash "massive" demand for the mainland's bonds, the chief executive of the company that operates Hong Kong's stock exchange, told CNBC on Friday.
In May, regulators in Hong Kong and on the mainland approved a "bond connect" program to allow investors operating in Hong Kong to trade Chinese bonds, called a "northbound" flow, with a "southbound" flow of Chinese investment into Hong Kong to be considered later.
Authorities also won't cap the amount that foreigners can invest in China.
Li said that while large investors are already able to access the mainland fixed income market though existing programs, the bond connect would be fundamentally different.
"People are now finally able to do it and able to do it in a way that is familiar, that is similar to the way we trade U.S. dollar Treasurys or other international treasury fixed income instruments," he said. "That is something so new. That the demand, underlying demand, the potent demand are massive."