Philippines in No Rush to Sell Dollar Debt, Treasurer Says

  • Increase in revenue has given government room to wait: Tan
  • Nation has $323 million of overseas notes due in January

The Philippines, which typically sells dollar bonds at the start of the year, isn’t in a rush to issue this time around as an increase in revenue gives the government room to defer until conditions are the most favorable, according to the nation’s top Treasury official.

The department is also waiting for approvals from the office of President Benigno Aquino and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Treasurer Roberto Tan said in a Dec. 23 interview. While a bond sale in January can still happen, it will depend on market conditions, he added.

“Once we have all the approvals, the next step is we will monitor the market, and then if there’s a window, we go through it," Tan said, adding that the government is in the process of funding dollar debt maturing in January.

While he didn’t give the amount that will come due, data compiled by Bloomberg show the Philippines has about $323 million worth of bonds up for repayment next month.

Tan’s comments come at a time when global funds are showing increasing confidence in the Philippines. The nation’s overseas bonds returned 3.1 percent this year, the most in Southeast Asia, according to indexes compiled by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Vietnam’s comparable notes gained 0.5 percent, while Indonesia and Malaysia had losses of 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. The nation sold $2 billion of 25-year notes at a record low yield of 3.95 percent in January 2015.

The government expects to receive a $500 million loan from the World Bank and a combined $600 million in loans from the Asian Development Bank next quarter, Tan said. The nation is also studying the possibility of selling yuan bonds in China, although there are no plans for an immediate issuance.

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