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Chinese investors eye $200-m Panda bonds

CHINESE investors have expressed interest in Manila’s planned Panda bond issue  worth $200 million set to be sold in China later this year, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said Friday.

De Leon said in a briefing the Philippine delegation that conducted a non-deal roadshow in China recently met about 13 potential investors, a combination of banks and asset management corporations.

“... So basically they are very enthusiastic about the growth narrative of the Philippines. It is the first time that we are doing this on an investor roadshow, on a non-deal basis, anticipating that eventually the Philippines would make its first footprint in the Panda market,” De Leon said.

“… the Bank of China will also be there to provide that kind of liquidity. They are the only ones that can engage on the repo transaction... they are eagerly awaiting when will be the launch... ,” she added.

She said the Philippines would continue having discussions with the Chinese regulators, including the People’s Bank of China, on the planned issuance. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said the Panda bond market was regulated by China’s central bank, PBOC. Any potential issuer, thus, must first apply through the PBOC before any other Chinese regulator.

Dominguez announced in the middle of the year the plan to issue Panda bonds in China as part of efforts to raise additional funds to help finance the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

Under the program, the government aims to build railways, airports, seaports, highways, and irrigation projects to further stimulate domestic economic activities in the countryside.

The government also plans to put up a 24-kilometer subway in Metro Manila to decongest the metropolis of heavy traffic that has been causing an approximately ₱2.4 billion in economic loss daily.

Dominguez also said the government was considering issuing Samurai bonds in the future for the same purpose.

He said the government’s plan of borrowing 80 percent from the domestic market and 20 percent in foreign currencies remained unchanged.

“We will therefore remain active in the foreign markets,” he said.

The National Economic and Development Authority Board approved the Metro Manila Subway Project and four new “flagship” projects during their fifth meeting early last month.

Topics: Chinese investors , Panda bond , China , Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III , National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon
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