Gov’t prepares euro bond issuance

Euro banknotes are displayed in this picture illustration taken Nov. 14, 2017. — REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER/ILLUSTRATION

THE Philippine government is returning to the global debt market for a second time this year with a euro-denominated bond issuance.

Citing a Philippine government filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bloomberg reported the euro bond offering will have potential tenors of four years, 12 years and/or 20 years.

The notes will be US SEC-registered senior unsecured bonds, while the volume will be based on benchmark levels.

The issuance is expected to be rated Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, BBB+ by S&P Global Ratings and BBB by Fitch Ratings.

BNP Paribas S.A., Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Nomura and Standard Chartered Bank were appointed as the joint lead managers and joint bookrunners for the issuance.

Investor meetings were held in Asia, Europe and the United States on Monday.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon declined to provide more details about the issuance.

The last time the government issued euro-denominated bonds was in January 2020, raising EUR1.2 billion via its dual-tranche offering.

It sold EUR600 million each via the three-year and nine-year notes, as total bids reached EUR4.3 billion. The exercise was oversubscribed by more than three times than the initial plan of a benchmark size issuance worth EUR500 million.

The Philippines raised JPY55 billion (P24.2 billion) from a three-year, Japanese yen-denominated “Samurai” bond sale on March 30, marking the country’s first global bond sale for 2021. The issuance fetched a coupon of 0.001%.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III earlier said the country would tap the US bond market soon before “rates skyrocket.”

The government runs on a budget deficit as it spends more than the revenue being generated to fund programs that will drive economic growth.

It plans to raise P3 trillion this year both from local and foreign sources to plug its budget deficit seen hitting 8.9% of gross domestic product.

About P286 billion is estimated to come from global bond issuances. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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