Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has highlighted that the successful Retail Dollar Bond 2 (RDB 2) issuance will drive long-term economic growth and enable greater financial inclusion among Filipinos.
“The settlement of the RDB 2 comes at a crucial time in the Philippines’ economic story. Amidst a backdrop of global economic uncertainty, the RDB 2 has allowed us to fulfill part of our domestic financing requirements for the year and progress toward building a more financially inclusive domestic capital market,” he said during the Bell Ringing Ceremony on November 6, 2023 at the BDO Equitable Tower, Makati City.
Through the offering, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) has raised US$ 1.26 billion – six times over the initial target of US$ 200 million.
Proceeds from government securities are used to fund the government’s priority Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs) aimed at supporting long-term economic growth.
Secretary Diokno further highlighted that retail dollar bonds boost financial inclusion as it serves as a viable, low-risk, and affordable way to diversify the portfolios of small investors, allowing them to grow their hard-earned money.
“The RDBs, similar to the other retail government bonds we issue, are meant to be as inclusive and accessible as possible,” he added.
From a minimum investment amount of US$ 300, the government lowered the amount to US$ 200 and assumed the final withholding tax on the interest of the RDBs.
“These features have resulted in the overwhelming support of our retail investors, yielding over 146 million US dollars from over 3,900 investor transactions,” Secretary Diokno said.
To maximize convenience, the government has retained the PesoClear structure which allows peso account holders to purchase RDBs without having to open a separate US dollar account.
This effort alone allowed the government to raise US$ 1.15 million from over 681 investor transactions.
Moreover, the availability of digital transactions through the BTr’s Online Ordering Facility, Bonds dot PH mobile app, LANDBANK app, and Overseas Filipino Bank app, have allowed more people around the world to participate in these investments, raising over US$ 2.56 million from 1,126 transactions.
Secretary Diokno said that US$ 532,600 were from Overseas Filipinos residing in 32 different countries, highlighting that the success of the bonds was made possible by the continued support of all stakeholders.
The RDB 2 was formally listed in the Philippine Dealing and Exchange (PDEx) Board, which is the country’s trading platform for the fixed-income (FI) market. Listing or enrolling bonds on PDEx will enable the secondary market trading of these debt instruments.
OIC Treasurer of the Philippines Sharon P. Almanza, Deputy Treasurer Erwin D. Sta. Ana, Philippine Depository and Trust Corporation President and CEO Maria Theresa Ravalo, PDEx Corporation President and CEO Antonino Nakpil, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) President and CEO Michael O. de Jesus, and Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) Executive Vice President Carel Halog were in attendance.