Treasury, banks to offer retail dollar bonds for small investors

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2021 02:30 PM

MANILA - The Bureau of Treasury and the country's top banks are working together to bring easy term retail dollar bonds (RDB) to small investors, the Department of Finance said Monday.

The plan to offer RDBs to small investors this year is part of the Bureau of Treasury's efforts to diversify sources of funding for its operations as well as to push for financial inclusion, the DOF said in a statement. 

The government plans to offer RDBs for a minimum of $300 (P15,000) which is "significantly lower than the minimum amount for investing in traditional US dollar-denominated bonds of $200,000," National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon.

The RDBs “will provide small investors a tool to diversify their investment portfolio aside from the usual peso retail treasury bonds (RTBs) and Premyo Bonds," De Leon said. 

The RDBs will be the first onshore US-dollar denominated bonds to be issued by the Bureau of Treasury in amounts as low as $300, she said. 

Banks would do away with the required minimum balance of $500 (P25,000) to $1000 (P50,000) for a dollar account before being able to invest in RDBs, the DOF said. 

This plan will "democratize dollar-bond investing," the DOF said.

Access to such bonds will also be easier using the BTr's online ordering facility Bonds.Ph mobile app and the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) app, De Leon said.

De Leon said investors could opt to invest using US Dollar or PesoClear options.

Those who want to avail of the US Dollar method should open a US dollar account with a local bank while those who do not have US dollar accounts can use their existing bank accounts to purchase RBDs using the PesoClear option, she said. 

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has issued "foreign exchange liberalization reforms that have enhanced access of individuals to foreign currency," the DOF said. 

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