Government hikes Nov.-Dec. borrowing plan to tap demand

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THE GOVERNMENT has increased its borrowing program for the remaining two months of the year as it looks to take advantage of excess liquidity, according to the Bureau of the Treasury yesterday.

A memorandum on its Web site showed the Treasury aims to raise P50 billion more in government securities in November and December — making the borrowing program for the fourth quarter to P200 billion from the initially planned P150-billion offering.

The Nov. 15, 29 and Dec. 13 Treasury bill (T-bill) auctions will now offer P20 billion each, from P15 billion previously.

Broken down per auction, P8 billion will be offered for the 91-day papers and P6 billion each for the six-month and one-year T-bills, respectively, from the P6 billion, P5 billion and P4 billion initially planned.

For the longer-dated Treasury bonds (T-bonds), the government plans to raise P20 billion from the Nov. 9 auction for 10-year papers as well as from the Nov. 23 sale of four-year securities, from P15 billion each previously.

The Dec. 7 auction for seven-year bonds will likewise raise P20 billion from P15 billion initially.

The Treasury also added a Dec. 21 auction for four-year debt to raise P20 billion.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon said the government wants to take advantage of the cash glut, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) trimmed the offer volume of its weekly term deposit facility (TDF) to P130 billion starting November from P140 billion previously amid tepid demand.

“Opportune time with large liquidity as BSP reduced TDF and very positive results of our auctions,” Ms. De Leon said in a mobile phone message when asked for comment.

Since August, the Treasury has fully awarded its offers, which have been oversubscribed.

“[It] would also make up for reduced auctions with holidays,” added Ms. De Leon.

There will be no Treasury auction this week, due to the Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 2 non-working days. The next sale of government securities will be on Nov. 7.

So far, the government has raised P60 billion this quarter, consisting of P30 billion each from T-bills and T-bonds. Year-to-date, it sold a total of P562.39 billion, with P302.57 billion in T-bills and P259.82 billion in T-bonds. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan