Russian companies may issue bonds in the yuan prior to the country’s sovereign placement, Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said Monday.

“I have a feeling that the sovereign [issuer] may not be the first and follow some of corporate [issuers] in entering the market. Many corporates have been showing interest, and they are more widely represented there, and have more contacts with regulators,” he said.

Earlier the ministry said it did not rule out that the yuan bonds could be issued in 2016. Later Storchak said a small amount of bonds (standard amount) will be issued in case a respective decision is taken. 500 mln worth of issuance is considered standard for euro bonds, and $1 bln — for dollar bonds.