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MB okays NG dollar bond sale

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By Lee C. Chipongian

The central bank’s Monetary Board (MB) has approved the National Government’s (NG) proposed issuance of up to $2-billion ROP (Republic of the Philippines) bonds at year-end.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon

Monetary Board sources said that the NG is planning to sell $500-million to $2- billion sovereign bonds and that this has been approved.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is hoping that the additional NG deposits – once the government is able to raise as much as $2 billion this month or in December – will help the peso vis-à-vis the US dollar appreciate back to P52.

The BSP has been looking for opportunities to accumulate foreign exchange (FX) to boost its reserves level which as of end-October, dropped anew to $74.77 billion, the lowest level this year. ROP bond sale also lifts or promotes a stronger peso.

The government in past years usually issue ROPs in January or February of every year, but that the Bureau of the Treasury wanted to take advantage of the global bond market towards the close of 2018.

The Department of Finance said earlier that any end-year planned bond sale will depend on market conditions while the Treasury unit will be looking for issuance windows to time the ROPs.

In a Reuters report, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon has confirmed that the Monetary Board has approved the proposed bond sale late this year.

De Leon said the timing of the issue would be “subject to good issuance window.”

The government offered $2-billion new 10-year global bonds last January, of which $750 million was new money. This was followed by the issuance of $230 million worth of panda bonds in March and a $1.38-billion yen-denominated bonds last August.

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