Gov’t to borrow P160 billion from local market in March

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) wants to raise P160 billion from the domestic bond market in March, an advisory on its website showed.

The BTr is planning to borrow P100 billion via its weekly auction of Treasury bills (T-bills) and P60 billion in Treasury bonds (T-bonds) to be offered fortnightly.

The Treasury will offer P20 billion of T-bills every Monday next month beginning March 1. This is broken down into P5 billion each in 91-day and 182-day debt papers and P10 billion in 364-day instruments.

The T-bonds will be auctioned off every other Tuesday: P30 billion in 7-year securities on March 9 and P30 billion via 10-year notes on March 23.

The government raised P127 billion from the local debt market this month, breaching its P110-billion borrowing program for February, as the government opened its tap facility several times to take advantage of lower rates.

The initial borrowing program was at P140 billion in February but the BTr canceled a scheduled offering of P30 billion worth of three-year papers to give way to its retail Treasury bond (RTB) sale.

The government is selling three-year RTBs until March 4, unless the offer period is closed earlier. The bonds bear a coupon rate of 2.375% and can be availed for as low as P5,000.

The Treasury sold an initial P221.218 billion in RTBs at the rate-setting auction held on Feb. 9 as total bids reached P284.183 billion.

The government is looking to borrow P3 trillion this year from domestic and external lenders to help fund its budget deficit seen to hit 8.9% of gross domestic product. — B.M.Laforga