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Retail investors buy half of Treasury’s P150-B RTBs


12:24 AM August 20th, 2013

August 20th, 2013 12:24 AM

Nearly half of the P150 billion in retail treasury bonds (RTBs) sold recently by the government was bought by individuals, indicating more Filipinos are appreciating the value of investing.

This was announced Monday by the Bureau of the Treasury, which noted that 49 percent or P73.5 billion of the RTBs issued was sold to individual investors. This was a marked improvement from previous years when institutional investors bought the bulk of the RTBs issued by the government.

The Treasury added that total retail buyers of the RTBs accounted for 65 percent or P97.5 billion of all the securities sold.

Based on the government’s official definition, “retail investors” are individuals and entities that are not categorized as government-owned, investment houses, banks or securities dealers.

Prior to the sale of the RTBs, which ran from July 30 to Aug. 12, Treasury issued a directive to securities dealers that at least 20 percent of the bonds should be sold to individual investors and at least 50 percent to retail investors.

National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the government was pleased that the 20- and 50-percent thresholds were exceeded.

“This RTB offering gives ordinary Filipinos the investment opportunity to participate in the debt market and raise their savings and investment consciousness,” De Leon said in a statement.

The directive was meant to promote the habit of investing among Filipinos, De Leon said, pointing out that aside from raising money for the government, another key objective of the sale of RTBs was to encourage Filipino individuals to invest.

Unlike regular bonds, RTBs are fit for individuals and small corporate investors because the minimum investment required is only P5,000.

The RTBs sold carried a 10-year maturity and fetched a coupon rate of 3.25 percent a year.

The debt paper attracted substantial demand, with the bids during the price-setting auction on July 30 reaching P279 billion. The government set the minimum amount it aimed to raise from the sale of the securities at only P30 billion.

During the price-setting auction, the government already sold P100 billion of the securities. It then sold another P50 billion throughout the remaining days of the offer period, bringing the total to P150 billion. Michelle V. Remo

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