THE GOVERNMENT raised 1.46 billion renminbi (RMB), or about $230 million, on Tuesday, March 20, from its maiden “panda” bond offer, receiving an “overwhelming demand” from both offshore and onshore investors.

Tenders for the three-year debt papers were a little over six times oversubscribed at 9.22 billion RMB, against the 1.46 billion RMB that the government placed on the auction bloc, and fetched a coupon rate of 5%.

The government held a roadshow on March 14-16 in Singapore, Hong Kong, and China, led by National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo.

China-based debt watcher Lianhe Credit Rating Co. Ltd gave the yuan-denominated bonds an “AAA” rating and stable outlook, as it has the “lowest expectation of default risk.”

Even before the offer concluded, Deputy Treasurer Erwin Sta. Ana told reporters that the demand was “overwhelming.”

“It’s actually overwhelming relative to the size of the offer. So we heard that both onshore and offshore investors are actually clamoring for the papers, so we hope to continue on that momentum,” said Mr. Sta. Ana after the Treasury bonds auction on Tuesday.

The proceeds of the issuance will be converted into peso and will be deposited with the BSP, and will help fund the government’s infrastructure projects and other financing requirements. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan