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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        22  March 2011

Philippines kicks off bond sale

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The Aquino administration has launched its first US dollar bond offering, with the start of the book building process for its 15-year debt papers to determine their price.

National Treasurer Roberto Tan said the final amount of the issuance will depend on investors’ appetite for the debt papers, even as the Monetary Board authorized up to $1.50 billion in borrowing from the global bond market.

“The situation in Japan has no impact on the outcome of the offering. The markets are adjusting fairly well,” Tan told reporters after Monday’s auction of Treasury bills.

The national government still has $1.25 billion remaining in the foreign component of this year’s borrowing program.

It has mandated Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. as joint global coordinators, while Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., HSBC, J.P. Morgan and UBS are joint book runners for the US Securities and Exchange Commission-registered global bond offering.

In separate statements, three international firms affirmed their ratings on Manila’s long-term foreign currency global offering.

Moody’s Investors Service said it will assign a Ba3 rating, with a positive outlook. “The Philippines’ sovereign rating is supported by a favorable outlook for government finances amid robust economic growth and an increasingly strong external payments position,” Thomas Byrne, senior vice president at Moody’s, said.

He said the positive outlook reflects Moody’s view that reasonable policy management will offset the headwinds facing the Philippine economy over the next 12 to 18 months.

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