Govt eyeing 15-yr dollar bond in foreign debt swap

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2011 04:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 20 2011 12:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is looking at issuing 15-year dollar bonds to be swapped for shorter-dated paper when it launches a foreign debt exchange program, National Treasurer Roberto Tan said on Tuesday.

"Maybe it's good to establish an issue between 10 and 20 (years)," Tan told reporters. "It is a maturity that we don't have in the GPN (global peso notes)."

Tan said the government expects the central bank's Monetary Board to approve the proposed foreign bond swap next week.

The government completed last Friday a record P323.5 billion local debt swap in an effort to lengthen the average maturity of its outstanding debt and lower borrowing costs.

The debt exchange extended the average maturity of the local bonds swapped to 18 years from about 5.5 years. The offer was about P140 billion larger than the previous swap last December.

The government said it wants its new 2022 and 2031 bonds to be benchmarks for long-term financing, particularly for infrastructure projects. The Aquino administration is bidding out roads, airports and rail networks to the private sector under its Public-Private Partnership program to jumpstart more investments and stir economic growth. - With Reuters