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Phlippines gov’t kicks off sale of $1.5-B global bond

January 06, 2010 | “Dow Jones via mb.com.ph"

MANILA (Dow Jones) – The Philippine government Wednesday offered to sell more of its 10- and 25-year US dollar global bonds, kicking off issuance from Asia this year, which promises to be a busy one for sovereign borrowers.

The government reopened its 6.5 percent January 2020 bonds and 6.375 percent October 2034 bonds to raise $1.5 billion to support its budget, according to people familiar with the deal. Pricing of these bonds via lead managers Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and HSBC is set for later in the day.

The deal comes in an environment of reduced risk premiums and follows a $2 billion global bond sale overnight from Turkey, the first sovereign issuer this year to tap the offshore market.

Indonesia and Vietnam are set to follow in the coming weeks.

The proceeds from the Philippines' bonds will help plug a budget deficit that's projected to reach P293 billion, equivalent to 3.5% of gross domestic product, this year.

The retap of its existing bonds was well-anticipated. But the country's 2020 bonds and 2034 bonds weakened slightly in morning trading as investors made room for the new supply. Its 2020 bonds were trading at 106.25-106.75 after being bid at 107 Tuesday, while its 2034 bonds were at 97.375-97.875, down from 97.500.

"The government needs to raise dollars and the easy and logical thing to do is a tap of smaller issues," said a trader in Manila. The Philippines has outstanding $750 million in 2020 bonds, which were first sold in July last year, and $1 billion in 2034 bonds, which it first sold in October 2009.

The government has euro-denominated bonds worth EUR650 million or $935 million maturing in February and another $561.5 million debt falling due in March.

The decision to raise funds in dollars instead of euros wasn't surprising, as bonds denominated in the US currency are still the most preferred by investors owing to liquidity of such paper.

By DITAS LOPEZ

Società: Philippines

Nome completo della societàRepublic of the Philippines
PaesePhilippines
Paese di registrazionePhilippines

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