'Diamond' Philippines defies pandemic fear with $2.35 billion bond sale

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2020 01:12 PM

A rainbow appears along Commonwealth Ave. on March 22, 2020, as the Philippines' biggest island group goes into a 1-month long coronavirus quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS CBN News

MANILA -- The Philippines said Tuesday it raised $2.35 billion (P119 billion) in 10-year and 25-year dollar bonds, defying pandemic fears as the borrowings fetched the lowest ever coupon or interest for the Southeast Asian nation.

The 10-year bonds and 25-year bonds were priced at tighter spreads compared with the initial pricing guidance, the Department of Finance said in a statement.

The spread, or extra yield demanded by investors, is tighter when risk is perceived to be less.

"The strong demand for this bond issue demonstrates the resiliency of investor interest in the Philippine economy despite the global economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.

The notes fetched the lowest ever coupon for a 10-year and 25-year benchmark issue, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

"This makes the Philippines, at least for the time being, a diamond in the sovereign issuance space for we were able to convert immense pressure into an opportunity to dazzle in brilliant shine," she said.

The 10-year notes were priced at T +180 basis points while the 25-year tranche was priced at 2.95 percent, the DOF said. The issue was announced last Monday and was expected to settle on May 5, the DOF said.

Manila sold 1.2 billion in euro bonds in January.