PHL Sukuk bond offer may exceed $1-B target


THE PHILIPPINES’ maiden Sukuk bond offering is still pushing through within the fourth quarter and could possibly exceed its $1-billion target offer size, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.

“It will still push through. We are finalizing the papers, it will still be in end-November,” he told reporters in mixed English and Filipino on the sidelines of an event on Monday.

Earlier, the Department of Finance (DoF) said it was targeting to raise around $1 billion from the Islamic bonds, which will have a minimum denomination of at least $200,000.

Asked if demand will likely exceed the target size of $1 billion, Mr. Diokno said: “I think so. There’s a lot of petrodollars.”

Mr. Diokno said that the government will proceed with the offering despite fears of a regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

At least six banks will be tapped as the underwriters for the issuance.

Former National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon earlier said that the government was studying the potential structure of the bonds, which could either be “hybrid Wakala, Ijarah or Murabaha.”

This is expected to be the government’s last global bond issuance for the year.

Last month, the Philippine government raised $1.26 billion from the first retail dollar bond sale under the Marcos administration. This was much higher than the minimum issue size of $200 million but below the $1.6 billion raised during the Philippines’ maiden retail dollar bond auction in 2021.

The dollar-denominated five-and-a-half-year bonds fetched a coupon rate of 5.75% and were awarded at rates ranging from 5% to 5.75%, bringing the average to 5.509%.

This year, the government plans to borrow P2.207 trillion, consisting of P1.654 trillion from domestic and P553.5 billion from foreign sources.

The Treasury earlier planned to raise $5 billion (around P283 billion) from global bonds this year. In January, the Philippines raised $3 billion from its first US dollar bond issuance for the year. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

Neil Banzuelo

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