Tuesday, 27 April 2010

OFWs snap up government’s dollar, euro bonds

Louella D. Desiderio
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/main/content.php?id=9935

OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries, seeking attractive investment vehicles, snapped up at the multi-currency retail Treasury bonds offered by the government.

BDO Capital and Investment Corp. President Eduardo V. Francisco said in a text message yesterday that the reception of the OFWs to the bond issue was very strong.

“(It was) very strong as expected. Lots of OFW beneficiaries came to our branches,” he said.

BDO Capital and Investment Corp. is one of the selling agents of the euro- and dollar-denominated bonds.

The other selling agents -- BPI Capital and Investment Corp., the Development Bank of the Philippines, First Metro Investment Corp., ING Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., and the Philippine National Bank -- either declined to comment or were unavailable for interviews yesterday.

National Treasurer Roberto B. Tan said in a telephone interview yesterday that over $400 million has been raised from the sale of three-and five-year retail Treasury bonds denominated in US dollar and euro.

“We have almost reached the full amount of $500 million,” he said.

The government has been cleared to sell $1 billion in dollar- and euro-denominated retail bonds but has decided to sell just half of this amount.

It targets to sell $400 million worth of dollar bonds and 75,000 worth of euro bonds. The offer period, which began April 21, ends today.

Mr. Tan, however, did not provide a breakdown of how much has been raised so far from both dollar and euro bonds.

OFWs and their families, however, can still buy the bonds from the selling agents until next month.

“OFWs have 30 days (from April 21) to buy the bonds,” Mr. Tan said.
Twenty percent of the $500-million bond offer has been allocated to OFWs, and the rest to institutional investors.

Overseas Filipinos who buy the bonds will be exempt from the tax on interest income. -- Louella D. Desiderio

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