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Philippines to issue first panda bonds in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-19 20:45

MANILA - The Central Bank of the Philippines said in a statement on Monday that it is all set for the issuance of its inaugural 1.46 billion China yuan ($230 million) of panda bonds, or yuan-denominated debts sold by foreign issuers in China.

The statement said the panda bonds, with a three-year tenor, will be issued in the onshore Chinese bond market on Tuesday, while the settlement is on Thursday.

"We are upbeat about this activity because of the significant interest from the market based on the inquiries and feedback we have received," National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said in the statement.

The issuance follows an international deal roadshow by the Philippine delegation led by the National Treasurer, and Central Bank Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo.

In the roadshow held from March 14 to 16, the bureau said the delegation met potential investors in China to expound on the terms of the bond issuance and provide updates on the Philippine economy.

The statement said the issuance will be taking advantage of the Bond Connect scheme, which allowed offshore investors to participate. Demand from both onshore and offshore investors will allow the Philippines to secure a favorable rate upon pricing date, it said.

"The panda bonds issuance is very timely given the sustained strengthening of the Philippines' credit profile, which is a result of long history of total structural reforms. Investors have been encouraged to invest because the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the region with a strong record in inflation management," Guinigundo said.

The statement also said the Philippines' maiden issue of panda bonds affirms the country's improving bilateral relations with China and the increasing relevance of the Renminbi. The International Monetary Fund included the Renminbi in the Special Drawing Rights' (SDR) basket of currencies in 2016.

Finance Secretary of the Philippines Carlos Dominguez expressed confidence that the forthcoming panda bond issuance will succeed.

"We are confident of the success of the Philippines's first venture in the Panda Bond Market. This is of the concrete results of President Rodrigo Duterte's independent foreign policy," Dominguez tweeted.

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