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The Department of Finance main office in Manila. (Photo: Team Vega via Wikimedia Commons)

Government eyes $200-M in Panda bonds float

By Riza Lozada

The government plans to issue its first renminbi-denominated debt instruments or so-called Panda bonds this year while discounting any plan to issue other debt instruments overseas, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

The government is considering the issuance of three- to five-year Panda bonds with a minimum amount of $200 million.

“For now, we’re really working on the Panda market. We’re not coupling it with any Dimsum issuance,” she said.

Panda bond is a renminbi-denominated debt paper issued by a non-Chinese issuer in China.

Department of Finance (DoF) officials said the government is just awaiting regulatory approval from Chinese authorities for the planned Panda bond issuance around November.

The government has an 80-20 borrowing mix in favor of domestic fund sources which de Leon said was the reason for the government not to look at issuing more debt instruments overseas this year aside from the Panda bond.

“Besides, we’re ending the fiscal year already, so what we will be focusing on will be next year’s borrowing program,” she said.

Asked about the government’s options for its foreign borrowing in 2018, de Leon said it is open to the possibility of issuing US dollar-denominated bond and the yen-denominated Samurai bond.

The Samurai bond is issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese issuer.

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