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Philippines taps Bank of China for panda bonds

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Dominguez
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez speaks during a briefing at the Malacanan Palace on February 28, 2017. -- KRIZ JOHN ROSALES/PHILIPPINE STAR

THE Philippine government has tapped the Bank of China in its bid to get China’s approval of a plan to raise $200 million from the sale of yuan-denominated securities, or “panda bonds,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

In a message to reporters sent on Friday, Mr. Dominguez said the Philippine government is currently working with the Beijing-based state-owned lender to gain approval from China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

“The Panda Bond market is regulated by China’s central bank, PBOC. As such, any potential issuer first applies through the PBOC prior to any Chinese regulator,” Mr. Dominguez said.

“As of the moment, we are working with the Bank of China on the internal and external approval by the PBOC,” he added.

However, the terms attached to the sale “have to be discussed further,” according to the Finance chief.

This comes as Philippine economic managers concluded a Sept. 27-29 non-deal roadshow for the offshore bond offering in Beijing and Shanghai.




Mr. Dominguez said earlier that the bonds could carry three- and five-year tenors and will be offered in the fourth quarter of this year “depending on market conditions.”

He also said that the government will “consider issuing Samurai bonds in the future,” but he did not elaborate.

Samurai bonds are debt papers denominated in Japanese Yen.

“Our plan of borrowing 80% from the domestic market & 20% in foreign currencies remains unchanged. We will therefore remain active in the foreign markets,” added Mr. Dominguez.

The government plans to borrow P727.64 billion this year, hiked from the P631.29 billion earlier programmed for 2017. – Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan

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