PH seen increasing debt to $124 B this year

By Kathleen A. Martin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 04 2014 07:41 AM | Updated as of Mar 04 2014 03:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is seen increasing its commercial debt to $124.1 billion this year from $114.3billion in 2013, according to estimates by debt watcher Standard & Poor’s.

Based on S&P’s Asia-Pacific Sovereign Debt Report 2014, the 8.6-percent growth rate of the Philippine government’s borrowings this year will be the fastest among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Malaysia is estimated to borrow $181.1 billion this year, up 7.7 percent from 2013, while Indonesia’s commercial credit is seen rising 7.2 percent to $130.9 billion.

Vietnam is projected to borrow 6.8 percent more to $33 billion this year while S&P sees Thailand’s commercial credit going up 2.8 percent to $127.8 billion.

Singapore is projected to borrow 2.3 percent higher at $331.2 billion this year.

The increase in Southeast Asian nations’ commercial debt this year is in line with other economies in Asia-Pacific.

S&P said in its report Asia-Pacific nations will be borrowing $2.5 trillion from long-term commercial sources this year, up 4.9 percent from 2013.

The global credit rater said about 60 percent of the borrowings will be used to refinance maturing debt.

Japan’s commercial long-term borrowing is expected to be the biggest in the region at $1.8 trillion, followed by China at $255 billion.

The report covered 21 sovereigns rated by S&P.

“Our estimates focus on debt that is issued by a central government in its own name, and exclude local government and social security debt as well as debt issued by other public bodies and government-guaranteed obligations,” S&P said.

“In terms of commercial debt instruments, our estimates for long-term borrowing include bonds with maturities of more than one year issued either on publicly listed markets or sold as private placements, as well as commercial bank loans,” the debt watcher continued.