In an interview with reporters, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the Treasury needs to assess the revenues and expenditures of the national government going forward and calibrate its borrowings based on the overall fiscal position.
BTr to recalibrate borrowing program
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - May 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is planning to recalibrate its borrowing program for this year, including the planned samurai bond issuance, as it assesses the national government’s fiscal position and spending outlook now that the 2019 budget has been signed.

In an interview with reporters, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the Treasury needs to assess the revenues and expenditures of the national government going forward and calibrate its borrowings based on the overall fiscal position.

“We will have to calibrate our borrowings, also the way we see the progression of the spending. We have to calibrate the borrowings based on the fiscal position, particularly, if we see that there is a reversal in the spending this May and of course, the continuous improvement in revenue collection,” De Leon said.

In particular, De Leon said the government needs to review the amount for its planned yen-denominated bond offering later this year. The Treasury was originally eyeing a benchmark amount of at least $500 million for the issuance.

“That’s still on the table, we just have to review the amount,” De Leon said, adding that “we’ll have to calibrate the amount given that we have to see the whole fiscal status, the status of our fiscal program, (including) spending and revenues.”

The national treasurer said the government is still eyeing to conduct the fund raising activity by the third quarter.

She said the Treasury is also looking at three tenors for the issuance, including three years, five or seven years, and 10 years.

De Leon said all approvals have been secured, while five banks, including Daiwa Securities Group, Nomura Holdings Inc., Mizuho Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, have already been mandated.

Meanwhile, De Leon said the government may not push through with its second batch of dollar-denominated global bonds this year.

“For now, we don’t have (another dollar bond sale) anymore. For now, it’s only samurai,” she said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez earlier said the Economic Development Cluster would meet this week to review the government’s spending target, and to determine if it is still achievable following the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget.

For 2019, the national government is expected to borrow P1.19 trillion, 20 percent higher than the 2018 program of P986 billion, in expectation of the higher fiscal deficit ceiling this year.

Of the total borrowings this year, P297.2 billion is projected to come from foreign lenders, while the remaining P891.7 billion would be sourced from domestic creditors.

BUREAU OF THE TREASURY ROSALIA DE LEON
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