Gov’t readies $1-B Retail Dollar Bonds 2 offering

MANILA – The government is confident that it will raise more than US$1 billion from its second offering of Retail Onshore Dollar Bonds (RDB 2), a top official of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

“It’s been three days, but we’re seeing the demand, we’re close to the USD1 billion initially that we targeted,” BTr Officer-in-Charge Sharon Almanza said during the Finance department’s weekly press briefing.

The BTr launched on Sept. 27 the RDB 2 and has so far raised US$611.2 million.

The offer period for RDB2 will be until Oct. 6, unless terminated earlier by the BTr.

The national government issues RDBs, which are fixed-income instruments, to provide Filipinos with low-risk, affordable and convenient investments to diversify their portfolios.

The features include a lowered minimum investment amount from US$300 to just US$200, and in multiples of US$100 thereafter; a tenor of 5.5 years, and a gross interest rate of 5.750 percent per annum, payable every quarter until its maturity in 2029.

The national government is also assuming the final withholding tax on interest for RDBs.

“We are confident that until next week, we’ll be able to raise more than US$1 billion,” Almanza said.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government was originally aiming to raise only USD200 million.

“Actually, the initial offering was US$200 million, kasi (because) we really want to limit our indebtedness. We don’t have that much money. But you know, demand is close to a billion as of today,” he said. (Jeanne Michael Penaranda)