Philippines launches retail treasury bond offer at 2.625% coupon rate

Credit: REUTERS/Thomas White

MANILA, July 16 (Reuters) - The Philippine government on Thursday launched an offering of five-year retail treasury bonds (RTB), seeking to attract small investors and holders of previously-issued RTBs to swap their holdings for the new issue.

The Southeast Asian country is ramping up borrowing, seeking to raise more money to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offset a slide in revenues due to lockdowns and business shutdowns.

Called "Progreso" or Progress Bonds, the new RTB offer fetched a coupon rate of 2.625% at an auction at the Bureau of the Treasury, with the government awarding 192.7 billion pesos ($3.89 billion) worth of the paper against total tenders of 278.6 billion pesos.

Proceeds will be used to fund government efforts to assist sectors hit hard by the pandemic and its flagship "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure development programme.

"The pandemic will not stop our lofty empower every Filipino to contribute in putting the economy back to a trajectory of sustained high growth," National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

The offer, available through some banks and the second such issue this year, runs from Thursday until August 7.

Holders RTBs maturing in August this year and March 2021 can swap their holdings for the 2025 RTBs, allowing the government to lengthen maturity of some of its debt obligations.

($1 = 49.56 pesos)

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz Editing by Ed Davies)

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