PHL eyes Panda bond issuance by Sept./Oct. ’17

MACTAN ISLAND- The Philippines is expanding its funding options and plans to issue Panda bond in the second half of 2017.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government was in talks with a Chinese financial firm for the exercise, which will be a first for the country.

(We are) exploring the idea of issuing panda bonds and hopefully we can issue them probably sometime in September or October this year, he told PNA in an interview.

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

Dominguez said they planned to issue a couple of hundred million worth of Panda bond just to get into the market.

He said a volume like the USD2 billion that the country raised through the issuance of dollar-denominated 25-year bond last January was not in the near future for the Panda bond.

We really don't need it so much now to augment the budget but to get into the market. For the Philippines to get known in the market so that in the future if we do have to issue large amount we can be very confident that we are already in the market. They will already know us and be comfortable with our credit rating, etc, he said.

Dominguez is also open to the issuance of Green bond, a debt instrument targeted to fund renewable energy (RE) projects.

Issuance of Green bond is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) move to develop the regional bloc's capital market.

The Finance chief said there is a possibility for the country to also issue its own Green bond.

It's just a matter of scale, he said citing that this depends on the size that is interesting to investors.

Dominguez said the country has lots of potential when it comes to renewable energy.

So I think we will try to develop that market and ASEAN is certainly pushing that as a priority financing tool, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency