PH resets to Q1 ’18 Panda Bond issue

Philippine finance officials have decided to push back the government’s proposed Panda Bond issuance to first quarter of 2018 instead of the last quarter of 2017 pending the approval of Chinese regulators.

In a statement Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the Bureau of  Treasury “is awaiting final approval from the People's Bank of China so the schedule for issuance has been moved to first quarter.”

“Similar to other fund raising activities, Panda bond offering is subject to favorable market conditions in the onshore RMB  (renminbi) market and provides competitive pricing compared to other funding options,” he said.

Panda bond is a renminbi-denominated debt paper issued by a non-Chinese issuer in China.

The Philippine government targets to issue about USD200 million worth of three- or five-year Panda bond, a maiden issuance for the country, as part of  its investment diversification bid.

An economic team from the Philippines already went to China a few weeks back for an investors’ roadshow, which Finance officials said was warmly welcomed by Chinese investors.
Earlier, National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon said they had a meeting with about 13 potential investors, from banks and asset management firms, for the  country’s planned renminbi-denominated debt paper issuance.
She said the Bank of China has given its support to the Philippine government’s programs on infrastructure investment.
The Duterte administration plans to spend at least P8 trillion until the end of its term in mid-2022 for its infrastructure program called “Build, Build, Build.”
Relatively, Dominguez said the estate’s planned US dollar bond sale at the start of 2018 “is on track.”
“The amount is still to be determined,” he added.
The last US dollar denominated bond issued by the Philippine government is a 25-year global bond, which came in with a swap offer for bonds maturing between 2019 and 2037.
The government issued USD25 billion worth of securities last January, which fetched a coupon of 3.70 percent, lower than the initial pricing guidance of 3.95 percent.