MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has raised $1 billion (roughly P44.109 billion) from the global debt market through the sale last Thursday of 10-year peso-denominated global bonds.
It was the first local currency offshore bonds offer by the Philippines and by an Asian country.
“How would you not feel elated? I understand two records have been shattered in the past few days and we’re going to do everything possible to keep on going. This will probably be continuing,” an elated President Aquino said, referring to the successful bond issuance as well as the surge in share prices.
“The stock exchange I understand reached a new high. The last time we did that was during my mother’s time, in 1987. We are even more excited – there’s a Philippine peso bond, that’s the first time this has ever been done and this first issue was 13 times over subscribed,” he said.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima called the bond offer a “breakthrough accomplishment.”
“This is a landslide vote of confidence by the global financial markets in (President Aquino’s) economic agenda and in the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country,” Purisima said.
He said the sale also showed that peso-denominated IOUs are now accepted abroad, which means that the Philippines can now reduce its dollar-denominated debts.
“The peso global bond is expected to enhance the government’s debt investor profile while paving the way for greater participation by offshore investors in the Philippine capital markets,” National Treasurer Roberto Tan said.
The $1-billion bond issuance was 13 times oversubscribed as bids totaled $13.3 billion.
By geographical allocation, 37.1 percent of the orders came from Asia, 32.6 percent from the US and 30.3 percent from Europe.
Proceeds would be used to finance the government’s budgetary requirements as well as for enhancing the management of external liabilities.
The Aquino administration is staring at a wider budget deficit of P325 billion this year or 3.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from the original target of P300 billion.
Purisima said the budget deficit may narrow to P226 billion or 2.5 percent of GDP next year if the economy grows by as much as seven percent from the official target of five percent.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index surged by 97.83 points or 2.57 percent Thursday to close at 3,902.56, already topping analysts’ full year forecast of 3,800. A total of 2.16 billion shares worth P6.37 billion changed hands.
Mr. Aquino said the positive developments were results of the “expectation primarily that things are going to get better.”
“And perhaps that is the measure of trust and confidence in the current administration, and the directions primarily of the economic team,” Mr. Aquino said.
The President said he is confident that despite the negative effects of the hostage tragedy on the economy, particularly tourism, the country remains a good investment site.
“There have been cancellations (of tourist bookings to the Philippines) that I think we are all aware of. I think the prognosis is, if given enough time, we will be able to recover and rebound from that (hostage crisis backlash),” Mr. Aquino said.
“I am happy to report that the very bright economic and business prospects have not been derailed,” the President said.
He cited the expansion of Convergys last week, which created 5,000 new jobs, as well as the coming inauguration of a new IBM facility at the University of the Philippines.
source phil star