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Philippines raises 750m euros from oversubscribed bond offering

[MANILA] The Philippine government raised 750 million euros (S$1.15 billion) in eight-year euro-denominated bonds in an offering that was six times oversubscribed, a senior finance official said on Friday.

The euro bonds issue, which was the country's first in 13 years, had a coupon of 0.875 per cent and offers 70 bps over benchmark, National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon said.

The offer attracted strong demand even after the Philippines, one of Asia's most active sovereign bond issuers, posted a weaker-than-expected growth in the first quarter, Ms De Leon said.

Weak exports and farm output and a delay in the approval of this year's budget slowed the Philippine economy's annual growth to 5.6 per cent in the March quarter, much weaker than the economists' 6.1 per cent forecast and the previous quarter's 6.3 per cent.

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The government raised more than the original target of 500 million euros after orders reached almost 3 billion euros, Ms De Leon added.

Manila is diversifying its funding sources, she said.

It is also in the process of arranging its second offering of Panda bonds in China's domestic market and is keen to issue more yen-denominated "samurai" bonds.

Books for its planned 2.5 billion yuan (S$500 million) issue of three-year Panda bonds are due to open next week, according to capital markets publication Refinitiv IFR.

The Philippines is raising funds to help finance its 3.7 trillion pesos (S$96.6 billion) budget this year.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's raised its long-term sovereign credit rating on the Philippines to BBB+ from BBB last month to reflect the country's strong economic growth trajectory.

REUTERS