Gov’t raises P 25B from sale of T-bills | Inquirer Business

Gov’t raises P 25B from sale of T-bills

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:06 AM April 06, 2021

The Bureau of the Treasury on Monday raised P25 billion from the sale of short-dated bills even as rates went sideways over lingering inflation worries.

The Treasury fully awarded P5 billion in the benchmark 91-day bills at an average rate of 1.295 percent, up from 1.269 percent last week.

It also sold P8 billion in 182-day securities at 1.646 percent, up from 1.609 percent previously.


On the other hand, the annual rate for the 364-day IOUs declined to 1.912 percent from 1.926 percent during the previous auction such that the Treasury awarded all P12 billion it offered.


“Risk aversion drove strong buying interest on haven assets, particularly on the front end with the [March] inflation print seen the same as last [February],” National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

Due to elevated headline inflation, De Leon said investors in government securities preferred to stay in the short end of the curve like treasury bills.

Across the three tenors, bids totaled P67.5 billion, making the auction nearly three times oversubscribed.

De Leon said the Treasury would sell another P5 billion of the one-year bills to the 11 government securities eligible dealers through the tap facility window.

This month’s weekly offering of P25 billion was bigger than the previous months’ P20 billion.

Most inflation forecasts for March, which the government will report on Tuesday, were higher than the 26-month high of 4.7 percent recorded in February.


Security Bank Corp. chief economist Robert Dan Roces projected the rate of increase in prices of basic commodities last month at 4.8 percent year-on-year even as food and domestic oil prices as well as power costs eased.

HSBC Global Research had the same forecast of 4.8 percent, noting that despite subdued domestic demand due to ongoing lockdown restrictions, global commodity prices remained high, likely leading to ongoing price pressures domestically.

“The good news is that, sequentially, inflation seems to be normalizing after several months of above-trend increases. If this trend continues, headline inflation will likely remain above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ target range for most of the year, but largely due to low base effects,” HSBC Global Research said.

ING senior Asia economist Prakash Sakpal’s March inflation forecast was 4.9 percent.

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“The Philippines will take the spotlight for its runaway inflation that has surged past the central bank’s 2 to 4 percent target and is becoming the main contender against India’s 5.1-percent inflation in February to be the highest in Asia. Like India, supply shocks to food and transport prices are pushing inflation higher while demand-side price pressures remain muted amidst rising COVID-19 cases and renewed lockdowns,” Sakpal said. INQ

TAGS: Business, T-bills

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