Sumitomo Mitsui meets with DoF over yen bonds

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Philippine Marines, marching in formation alongside armoured personnel carriers, head to the frontline past damaged buildings in the Mapandi area of Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao on Aug. 30, 2017. -- AFP

SUMITOMO MITSUI Banking Corp. (SMBC) has met with the Department of Finance (DoF) to gauge the potential market for yen bonds, which the government plans to issue.

The DoF said in a statement that SMBC indicated that appetite for such bonds  is “healthy.”

During a visit to Tokyo last month, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III also pitched potential Japanese backers on the government’s plan to put up a community-based economic zone in Marawi City to provide jobs for its returning residents.

SMBC, led by its Chief Executive Officer and President Takeshi Kunibehas expressed its willingness to assist the Philippines in its reconstruction and rehabilitation program, the DoF said.

Mr. Dominguez has said that the Philippine government plans to issue so-called samurai bonds next year, depending on market conditions.

The Philippines last issued samurai bonds in February 2010, selling ¥100 billion worth of securities at 2.32%.

The DoF and the Japanese bankers also discussed potential opportunities in the tourism sector and the financial markets, though no details were provided.

Also present at the meeting was Jose P. Leviste, Jr., the chairman of Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Com. and Oceana Gold Philippines, who expressed interest in opening business partnerships with SMBC and its affiliates and clients.

“We appreciate your enthusiasm in taking part in the rehabilitation efforts for Marawi. As part of this rehabilitation program, we are planning to put up a community-based economic zone in the area for small industries, local food processing and small foundries,” Mr. Dominguez was quoted as saying.

Japan and China have provided heavy equipment for the reconstruction program, while the World Bank has committed to provide technical assistance. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan