By Tobias Jared Tomas

THE NATIONAL Government is planning to raise P200 billion from the domestic market in April, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said on Wednesday.

In an advisory, the BTr said the April auction of Treasury bills (T-bills) is targeted to generate P60 billion, while auction of Treasury bonds (T-bonds) is targeted to bring in P140 billion.

The April borrowing plan is smaller than the P250-billion programmed domestic borrowing this month. However, the government only raised less than half of the program in March.

A trader said in a Viber message that next month’s borrowing plan is lower as March had five auction weeks, compared with April’s four.

The weekly borrowing volume remained the same, however, as P15 billion in T-bills and P35 billion in T-bonds will be auctioned off every week.

The Treasury will offer P15 billion in short-dated T-bills — P5 billion each in 91-, 182- and 364-day bills — on April 4, 11, 18, and 25.

For the longer-term T-bonds, the Treasury will auction off P35 billion in three-year securities on April 5, P35 billion in four-year papers on April 12, P35 billion in the seven-year instruments on April 19, and the 10-year papers on April 26.

“Despite numerous rejections this month, the government had a borrowing boost via the offshore dollar bond issuance which amounted to a total of $2.25 billion,” a second trader said in a Viber message.

The Treasury raised $2.25 billion from its first triple tranche, US dollar-denominated bond offering last week, which included its first-ever green bonds.

The government said it raised $1 billion from the inaugural 25-year green bond offer, as well as $500 million from five-year bonds, and $750 million from 10.5-year bonds.

The second trader added that the lowered borrowing program in April also serves as a “breather for market participants,” who have been on the defensive amid expectations of rate hikes by the central bank.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) kept its key interest rate unchanged last Thursday, although BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno has signaled rate adjustments in the second half.

The government borrows from local and external sources to help fund a budget deficit seen to hit 7.7% of gross domestic product this year.

The National Government has a gross domestic borrowing program of P1.91 trillion this year. Of this amount, T-bills will generate P52 billion, while fixed-rate T-bonds will bring in P1.86 trillion.