THE PHILIPPINES is planning a benchmark-sized retail dollar bond offer with the schedule likely to be announced next month, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said, as the government boosts infrastructure spending.
The announcement will be made in Washington and the target size determined later, Mr. Diokno said in a mobile-phone message on Monday. Mr. Diokno will be part of the Philippine economic team slated to have a briefing in Washington in April to discuss the government’s spending priorities, fiscal and infrastructure programs among other issues.
A benchmark-sized offering is often understood to mean one for at least $500 million. In this case, the exact size remains to be determined. Mr. Diokno said in an October interview that the government was aiming to capture around 10% of remittances or at least $3 billion for the dollar bond sale that’s typically issued onshore.
The planned borrowing will be the first dollar-denominated bonds targeting individuals and other retail investors under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. who assumed office in June.
The 2023 national budget, pegged at P5.3 trillion ($97.5 billion), aims to prioritize infrastructure development along with agriculture and education.
For the past two decades, the Southeast Asian nation has raised a big chunk of its finances by tapping retail investors, but previous issuances were mostly in pesos. In February, the government raised around $5 billion in local-currency bonds marketed to retail investors.
In October 2021, the Philippines sold its inaugural retail dollar bonds worth about $1.6 billion. Of the two-part issuance, the 10-year notes pay a coupon of 2.25% while the 5-year bonds pay 1.375% a year. — Bloomberg