THE Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) raised a record P310.8 billion from its sale of retail Treasury bonds (RTBs) that ended on Tuesday, two days ahead of the original schedule, following strong demand from investors.

In a text message on Tuesday, National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said P250 billion was raised from “new money” and P60.8 billion from the exchange offer program.

Ms. De Leon said the amount raised during the offer exceeded the previous record-high RTB issuance worth P255 billion in 2017, as well as last year’s P235.935 billion.

The BTr ended its offer period for the RTBs, which began on Tuesday last week, Jan. 28, two days ahead of the original closing date of Feb. 6. It only accepted tenders for both new money and the exchange offer program component of the RTB sale until 4 p.m. yesterday.

Ms. De Leon said they decided to cut the offer period as they had already reached their target volume.

The Treasury awarded P134 billion worth of three-year RTBs at the rate-setting auction for the papers on Jan. 28 out of total bids worth P149.827 billion. This was almost five times the initial offer of P30 billion, prompting the government to upsize the acceptance.

The papers were quoted at a coupon of 4.375%, higher compared to the 4.25% coupon fetched for the three-year RTBs issued in April 2017 or RTB 3-08.

Proceeds from the issue will be used for general budgetary purposes including the state’s critical infrastructure projects and social services.

The Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines are the joint lead managers for the government’s 23rd RTB offering.

The two state-run banks were also part of the joint issue managers, which include BDO Capital & Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., China Bank Capital Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., PNB Capital and Investment Corp., RCBC Capital Corp. and SB Capital Investment Corp.

The BTr also held an exchange offer program wherein bondholders of the RTB 3-08 issued in 2017 which will mature this April were allowed to exchange the old papers for the latest RTB issue.

Around 20-30% of the total investor pool of the Treasury’s retail government securities — such as RTBs and Premyo bonds — are individual investors, Ms. De Leon earlier said.

The government has a P1.4-trillion borrowing program for this year. Of this total, it is looking to source 75% from the local market, while the remaining 25% will be borrowed from external sources. — Beatrice M. Laforga