Oversubscribed P15 billion T-bills yield lower rates

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) yesterday fully awarded P15 billion worth of Treasury bills (T-bills) as all tenors yielded lower interest rates.

The benchmark 91-day T-bills fetched an average rate of 3.203 percent, 4.1 basis points lower than the 3.244 percent recorded the previous week.

The debt papers were more than three times oversubscribed, with total tenders amounting to P12.86 billion as against the P4 billion offering.

Rates for securities maturing in 182 days averaged 4.064 percent, also 5.3 basis points down from the 4.117 percent fetched last week.

Healthy demand met the T-bills as total bids reached P17.93 billion, more than three times the P5 billion issue size.

The average rate of the 363-day T-bills also declined 2.3 basis points to 4.869 percent from the 4.892 percent recorded the previous auction.

Total tenders reached P12.36 billion, more than twice the P6 billion issuance.

In an interview, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the auction committee decided to fully award the T-bills amid strong market liquidity.

She said this robust liquidity could be attributed to the P91 billion worth of maturities to be returned by the government to investors this week.

At the same time, De Leon said rates asked by investors are trending downwards despite appetite leaning towards the short end of the curve.

She said the market has calmed down following the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ move to raise interest rates by 50 basis points in its Aug. 9 meeting.

“The appetite continues to be on the short end but nonetheless, we see that the rates are already trending downwards. After the 50 basis points (increase), they (investors) saw that interest rates are within the expectations of the market,” De Leon said.

Meanwhile, she said the BTr would launch by the fourth quarter an online platform for its Retail Treasury Bond (RTB) offerings.

She said the online system would allow small investors to directly apply for RTBs instead of coursing their investments through banks.

“We want to have the online platform before or by the fourth quarter,” De Leon said.

She said the BTr is currently in discussions with the Task Force Bangon Marawi to determine the funding requirement which would be raised through the issuance of Marawi bonds – which may be structured as RTBs to allow Filipinos to participate in the rehabilitation of the war-torn area.

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