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Gov’t plans sale of $500-M bonds to OFW

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star
Govât plans sale of $500-M bonds to OFW

In an interview, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the government is planning to offer bonds to OFWs next year to provide them with investment opportunities. File

MANILA, Philippines -  The government is planning to raise $500 million by selling bonds next year to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said yesterday.

In an interview, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the government is planning to offer bonds to OFWs next year to provide them with investment opportunities.

“I think there is a market given the liquidity of the OFWs. It is to provide them a safer, more secure, and higher yielding instruments, and of course for their investment appetite,” De Leon told reporters.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the offshore bonds would be offered in territories where there is a high concentration of Filipino workers such as Saudi Arabia and the US.

As such, both Dominguez and De Leon said the Treasury would need to approach the respective monetary authorities of each country to acquire the approval to sell the bonds.

“There are approval of licenses there. We cannot go to Saudi Arabia and peddle the bonds there without getting the approval of the government or their monetary authority,” Dominguez said.

Since the government has already offered $500 million in global bonds last January, De Leon said the issuance of the OFW bonds would have to be conducted next year.

“For this year, our external plans are already settled or completed with the January issuance, so this is something that we have to look into next year,” she said.

The government raised $500 million in fresh 25-year global bonds at a rate of 3.7 percent, and also successfully switched $1.5 billion of previously issued bonds in January.

Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government is considering the possibility of offering US-denominated bonds to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to raise funds for its massive infrastructure program.

Diokno said such instrument will give OFWs an opportunity to build their wealth to secure their family’s future, while at the same time enable them to contribute further to the country’s development.

For 2018, the government is programmed to borrow P177.94 billion from external sources, corresponding 20 percent of the P889.72 billion total borrowing program next year.

 

 

 

 

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