Monday, March 21, 2011

Philippines raises $1.5-B from 2026 global bonds

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines said on Tuesday it sold $1.5 billion of new 2026 global bonds in an offering that was "significantly" oversubscribed, as it sought to stretch its debt profile while keeping interest costs low.

The bonds, which created a new 15-year benchmark for the Philippines' dollar bonds, were priced at 99.495% with a coupon of 5.5%, the government said in a statement.

Yield was at 5.55%, narrower than the indicated initial pricing of 5.26% reported by IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters, on Monday.

"The Philippines moved swiftly to access the dollar bond market and achieve low-cost, long-dated offshore funding," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a statement.

"This continues the republic's pro-active stance in managing its sovereign debt, extending its debt maturity profile during uncertain times for the global economy," he said.

The Philippines, one of Asia's most active issuers of sovereign debt in the offshore market, sold the dollar bonds before Indonesia could launch its own. Indonesian officials held investor presentations in Europe and the United States last week for a planned global bond this year.

The offer also came just a day after state lender Development Bank of the Philippines raised $300 million in a 10-year bond offer that was over three times subscribed.

Bookbuilding for the Southeast Asian country's first dollar bond this year took around 10 hours, with the United States and Europe each taking up 30% of the offer, the government said.

Investors from the Philippines accounted for 22% and the other Asian investors accounted for the rest.

"We are very pleased with the response to the transaction, with strong investor interest enabling the republic to successfully establish a new 15-year benchmark on its dollar yield curve," National Treasurer Roberto Tan said in statement.

Goldman Sachs and HSBC were joint global coordinators and bookrunners. Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JP Morgan and UBS were joint bookrunners for the global bond issue.

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