(UPDATE) Philippine dollar bonds rise after strong response

Posted at 01/07/10 11:02 AM

HONG KONG - Philippine 2020 bonds rose on Thursday after the country's $1.5 billion, two tranche reopening of existing bonds received orders of $10 billion, allowing the borrower to lower the final yield at which the debt was issued.

Manila sold $650 million in bonds due in 2020 at 106.25 cents on the dollar to yield 5.674%. They were trading at 107 in early dealings on Thursday.

It also sold $850 million in bonds due in 2034 at 96.5 cents on the dollar to yield 6.664%. They were trading steady at 96.50.

"There was an initial flurry to buy these bonds but the weak US Treasuries has caused some long positions to exit," said a Manila-based trader.

Overnight, US Treasury prices fell as investors grew nervous ahead of a major employment report due at the end of the week, where some expect to see the first month of jobs growth since December 2007.

Although the 2020 bonds were sold at 106.25, initial price guidance had been 105.75 cents. The 2034 bonds were sold 0.5 cent higher than guidance.

For the 2020 bonds, 23% were sold to Philippine investors, 25% to the rest of Asia, 35% to the U.S. investors and 17% to Europe.

For the 2034 bonds, 19% were bought by investors in Philippines, 21 percent by the rest of Asia, 40% by the United States and 20% by Europe.

The Philippines said it needed to raise about $2 billion to cover its foreign borrowing requirement in 2010, but the market expects more issuance.

"Finance Secretary Teves said late last year that US dollar bond sales would be capped at $2 billion this year, but we consider this cheap talk," said ING Wholsale Banking in a research note.

"Risk appetites are expanding and the sovereign needs money to finance another wide fiscal deficit," it said.