Philippines eyeing another $1-billion worth of Samurai bonds

The government plans to issue about $1 billion worth of “Samurai” bonds this year following the two successful floats of dollar- and renminbi-denominated securities in the offshore markets in the first quarter of 2018, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Tuesday.

“This year, we are also planning to issue around US$1 billion worth of ‘Samurai’ bonds,” Dominguez said in his opening remarks at the Philippine Economic Briefing held at the Imperial Hotel in Japan’s capital city. 

The finance chief gave no other details of the planned yen-denominated bond float in his speech before Japanese businessmen at the sidelines of the Philippine delegation’s visit in Tokyo this week. He said earlier the government would proceed with the float by September or October this year.

Buoyed by the tight spreads of the Philippines’ earlier bond issuances this year, Dominguez said such developments “indicate confidence in the fiscal and debt management of the Duterte administration.”

Dominguez, in showcasing the Philippines’ vibrant economic prospects, recalled that when the government issued $2 billion worth of 10-year dollar-denominated bonds in January, the spread was 37.8 basis points over the US Treasuries, while its maiden “Panda” bond float of 1.46 billion renminbi in March had an even tighter spread of only 35 bps over the benchmark.

National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon also quoted the same amount of “about $1 billion” in an earlier interview with reporters.

This year’s Philippine economic briefing, which showcases the country’s economic resilience amid its goal of spurring infrastructure development to achieve inclusive growth, is the second held in this Japanese capital since last year.

Dominguez in his remarks said the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan had emerged “closer and stronger” these past few years as the former rose to join the elite group of Asia’s tiger economies, fueled by its long-term goal to achieve zero poverty rates about two decades from now.

Japan, to date, had been the Philippines’ major source of official development assistance and a reliable ally in terms of infrastructure support from the period of reconstruction, one of its top trading partners, and its fourth largest source of foreign tourists, Dominguez said.

He thanked Japan for its support to the Philippines’ economic emergence as well as to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the devastated city of Marawi in Mindanao.

Joining Dominguez at the briefing were Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

Topics: Samurai bonds , Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III , Philippine Economic Briefing
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