THE GOVERNMENT has sold more than P250 billion in five-year retail Treasury bonds (RTBs) four days into the offer period, already exceeding the “new money” raised in February, amid strong demand for state debt.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said in a Viber message on Tuesday that the government already raised more than P250 billion via the five-year RTBs, which carry a coupon rate of 2.625%.

This is over P57 billion more than the initial P192.71 billion raised at the rate-setting auction on Thursday.

“(The) new money (raised in the latest offer has) exceeded the P250-billion new money (sold in) February,” Ms. De Leon told reporters.

However, Ms. De Leon did not disclose the exact amounts raised so far in new money and via the exchange offer component of the RTB offering. She has said they will not set a target volume for the offer.

This is the second time the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is offering retail bonds this year. The government raised a record P310.8 billion via three-year RTBs in February — P250 billion in new money or fresh funds and P60.8 billion from the exchange offer program.

RTBs target small investors and are deemed as low-risk assets with relatively high returns.

Investors can still buy the debt papers in denominations of P5,000 through selling agent banks and several online platforms. The public offer period is set to run until Aug. 7, unless closed earlier.

The Treasury also opened an exchange offer program for holders of the RTB 10-01, FXTN 05-73, RTB 10-02 and FXTN 07-57 who want to swap their old bonds for the new RTBs. The total amount of bonds eligible for swap is around P321 billion.

The retail bonds will be issued on Aug. 12 and will mature on Aug. 12, 2025. The papers will be listed on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

State-run lenders Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) are the joint lead issue managers for the transaction.

The joint issue managers are LANDBANK, DBP, BDO Capital & Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., China Bank Capital Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., PNB Capital and Investment Corp., RCBC Capital Corp., SB Capital Corp. and UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. — BML