THE GOVERNMENT made a partial award of the Treasury bills (T-bills) it offered on Monday amid reduced market appetite and liquidity following its retail Treasury bond (RTB) offering.

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) raised P14.8 billion from its offering of T-bills on Monday, lower than the planned P15 billion, even as total bids reached P35.765 billion or more than twice the amount on the auction block.

Broken down, the Treasury raised P5 billion as planned from the 91-day T-bills as tenders for the tenor reached P8.115 billion. The three-month paper was quoted at an average rate of 5.71%, 11.8 basis points (bps) higher than the 5.592% seen for a partial award last week. Accepted rates ranged from 5.674% to 5.725%.

The BTr likewise borrowed the programmed P5 billion via the 364-day debt papers as demand totaled P15.24 billion. The average rate of the one-year T-bill inched up by 0.6 bp to 6.085% from the 6.079% quoted last week. Accepted yields were from 6.05% to 6.096%.

Meanwhile, the government raised just P4.8 billion from the 182-day securities, below the P5-billion program, despite bids for the tenor reaching P12.41 billion. The average rate for the six-month T-bill stood was capped at 5.971%, down by 0.1 bp from the 5.972% fetched for a full award last week, with accepted rates at 5.925% to 5.999%.

At the secondary market on Monday before the auction, the 91-, 182-, and 364-day T-bills were quoted at 5.6226%, 5.9045%, and 6.1323%, respectively, based on PHP Bloomberg Valuation Service Reference Rates data provided by the BTr.

“​The partial awarding at today’s T-bill auction reflected reduced appetite by the BTr amid pending issuance of the recently concluded RTB 30 offering last week,” a trader said in an e-mail on Monday.

The government raised a record P584.86 billion from its offer of five-year retail bonds that ended on Friday, the BTr said in a statement over the weekend.

Of the total, P212.72 billion was awarded at the rate-setting auction for the 30th tranche of RTBs held on Feb. 13.

An additional P372.14 billion was raised during the nine-day public offer period, with P128.69 billion of this being new money and P243.45 billion coming from the bond exchange component of the offering.

The BTr will issue the bonds on Feb. 28, Wednesday. The papers carry a coupon rate of 6.25%.

T-bill rates mostly rose due to easing expectations of an early rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort added in a Viber message.

The T-bill auction on Tuesday was the last for the month. The BTr raised P61.3 billion from the short-term securities in February, above the P60-billion program, even after making partial awards in two auctions after the government upsized its planned issuance in one offering.

On Tuesday, the BTr will offer P30 billion in fresh 20-year Treasury bonds.

The government borrows from local and foreign sources to help fund its budget deficit, which is capped at 5.1% of gross domestic product this year or P1.39 trillion. — A.M.C. Sy