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Investors flock to Philippines' maiden panda bonds issuance

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-20 22:40
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MANILA - China and other offshore markets are "warmly receiving" the Philippine government's inaugural issuance of panda bonds, or yuan-denominated debts, the Central Bank of the Philippines said on Tuesday.

The Philippines issued on Tuesday its inaugural 1.46 billion Chinese yuan ($230 million) of yuan-denominated debts sold by foreign issuers in China.

The statement said the panda bonds, with a three-year tenor, were warmly received by the Chinese and other offshore markets with oversubscription hitting about 6.3 times, the all-time largest coverage for any panda sovereign issuer.

Bids reached 9.22 billion yuan compared with the Philippine government's debt offering of 1.46 billion yuan.

The Philippine authority expected the panda bonds fetched a coupon rate of 5 percent to 5.6 percent.

The Bank of China served as lead underwriter of the bond issuance. The Bank of China Manila branch told Xinhua that the overwhelming demand for the panda bonds was able to push the coupon to its lower bound of 5 percent.

"The Philippine government's successful inaugural issuance of panda bonds highlights the investor confidence that the country enjoys on the back of its strong credit profile," Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.

"The Duterte administration is committed to sustaining the growth momentum and making the economy a more inclusive one by way of massive investments in infrastructure and human capital development. It intends to pursue this unprecedented level of public spending while maintaining sound economic policies and observing fiscal discipline," Dominguez said.

The Central Bank of the Philippines said the Philippine government's successful issue now opens the door for the private sector to access the onshore Chinese bond market for financing.

The Philippine government believed the Philippines' maiden issuance of panda bonds affirms the country's improving bilateral relations with China and the increasing relevance of the Chinese currency. The International Monetary Fund included the renminbi in the Special Drawing Rights' basket of currencies in 2016.

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