Strong demand for PH global bond issue signals confidence


Posted at Jan 08 2019 01:49 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2019 02:33 PM

MANILA - The Philippine government became the first in Asia to tap the global debt market in the new year, raising $1.5 billion in 10-year US dollar bonds to help fund its 2019 spending plan.

The offering, also 2019's first for an emerging market, attracted $4 billion in demand and signals investor confidence in the Southeast Asian economy, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon told Reuters.

The bonds, launched on Monday, carry a coupon of 3.75 percent and were priced at spread of US Treasurys plus 110 basis points, below guidance of plus 130 basis points amid strong demand, she said.

The issue "demonstrates strong conviction from the global investor community" on the Philippines' economic fundamentals and the depth of the country's investor outreach, de Leon said in a statement.

Global investors across Asia, the United States and Europe took part in the bond issue, which was rated 'Baa2' by Moody's and 'BBB' by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. 

Bank of China, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint global coordinators for the transaction, while Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and UBS were joint bookrunners.

The Philippines, one of Asia's most active sovereign bond issuers, is raising funds to support the budget as President Rodrigo Duterte's administration boosts infrastructure spending. 

Manila's borrowing plan includes samurai and panda bond offerings this year or in 2020. It is also exploring a first sterling bond sale.