Philippines $1.5 bln global bond oversubscribed

MANILA/HONG KONG - The Philippines, one of Asia’s biggest sovereign debt issuers, looks set to raise as much as $1.5 billion from a global bond sale on Wednesday, with the order book in Asia alone reaching at least twice that.

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 6 Jan 2010, 4:50 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:23 AM

Manila, rushing to be the first issuer in Southeast Asia this year, will re-open its 6.5 percent 2020 bond 718286BF3=> and 6.375 percent 2034 bond 718286BG1=> to raise a total of $1 billion to $1.5 billion, sources close to the deal said in Hong Kong. It has given price guidance on the re-issued 2020 bonds of around 106 cents on the dollar to yield 5.71 percent, the sources said.

Guidance on the 2034 bonds was at about 96.25 cents on the dollar to yield 6.69 percent, they also said.

The Asian order book is currently tilted in favour of the 2020 bonds, attracting 60 percent of the total book, a Manila-based bank source said.

“There is strong demand,” a second Manila-based bond trader said. “The premium is 10 basis points against the secondary market.”

“Local banks are holding the shorter end of the ROPs (Philippine sovereign bonds). They are the likely buyers of this issue,” the trader said.

Final pricing of the bond issues will be announced when markets open for trading in New York.

Bond Prices Fall

The 2020 and 2034 bonds both fell by a quarter point in morning trade on Wednesday.

After news on market expectations of the bond pricing, the 2020 bonds fell further in the afternoon to 106.325/106.5 cents on the dollar and the 2034 bonds to 97.125/97.50, with the longer-dated bonds recording the bigger drop of as much as 162.5 points on the day.

The Philippines has hired Barclays Capital , HSBC and Deutsche Bank for the global bond sale, a government source said earlier on Wednesday.

The Southeast Asian country wants to tap foreign debt markets before uncertainty related to presidential elections in May pushes debt yields higher.

Neighbours Vietnam and Indonesia are also planning sovereign bond deals. Vietnam could raise up to $1 billion via bonds with a maturity of 10 years or more, while Indonesia is planning to raise $3 billion to $4 billion within the next few weeks.

“The issuer is clever, they are pre-empting Indonesia. There is demand out there and now the demand is going here,” the second Manila-based bond trader said.

Since 2005, the Philippines has issued dollar bonds every January. It was the first sovereign debt issuer in the region in 2009, raising $1.5 billion in 8.5 percent 2019 bonds.

Last week, the Philippine central bank approved the government’s plan to sell as much as $1.5 billion in dollar bonds and $1 billion in Samurai bonds.

Manila needs to raise about $2 billion to cover its foreign borrowing requirements in 2010. It has secured a portion of this amount after it sold $1 billion in 25-year global bonds in October.

It also needs to refinance 650 million euros in debt falling due on Feb. 22 and $561.5 million in debt maturing in March.

Last month, it filed a shelf offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of up to $3 billion worth of debt securities and warrants in the United States.

More news from