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PDEX upbeat on bond offers despite virus

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Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. is confident 2020 would be a good year for the bond market despite the coronavirus or COVID-19 fears.

PDEX president and chief operating officer Antonino Nakpil said in a recent interview the pipeline on bond issuances until April remained robust based on feedback from underwriters handling such deals.

Nakpil noted that the deals currently in the pipeline were mostly arranged before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

“The pipeline looks robust until April based on feedback from our underwriters. It looks healthy,” Nakpil said.

He said the appetite for bond issuances would still depend on current economic environment, including the movement of interest rates.

Nakpil pointed out the liquidity in the domestic market as indicated by the strong demand from the recent three-year retail treasury bond offering of the government. Banks have remained active in their bond offerings.

“Long term market players have learned to see through short effects of fear and greed. We have to assess and think long term,” he said.

PDEX since the start of the year has listed 10 new bond offerings, mostly from banks, raising more than P93 billion. Among the companies that issued bonds early this year were BDO Unibank Inc. (P40.1 billion), Bank of the Philippine Islands (P15.3 billion), San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc. (P15 billion) and Union Bank of the Philippines (P6.8 billion).

SM Prime Holdings Inc. is coming back to the bond market on March 25 with the listing of P20 billion worth of fixed rate bonds.

Other companies that announced plans to issue bonds in the near future include Filinvest Development Corp., (P15 billion), San Miguel Corp. (P20 billion commercial papers) and Robinsons Land Corp. (P15 billion).

PDEX ended 2019 with a record listing of bond issues at 40 and total face amount of new bonds listed that stood at P375.6 billion, up 29 percent from P256.4 billion in 2018.


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