BIZ BUZZ: Retail ‘sukuk’ bond sale?

BIZ BUZZ: Retail ‘sukuk’ bond sale?

/ 02:22 AM April 18, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — For Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Eli Remolona Jr., financial conditions are now ripe for a domestic “sukuk” bond sale.

At a press conference on Monday, Remolona said the government could make a killing with a local issuance of sukuk, a form of financing that is compliant with Islamic religious law that prohibits the earning of interest.

While he noted that it is the National Treasurer who is in charge of raising cash for the government, the BSP chief believes an onshore sukuk offering targeting small investors could attract strong demand, citing the results of the Philippines’ maiden sale of dollar-denominated Islamic bonds last year that was 4.9 times oversubscribed.


READ: PH raises $1B from maiden ‘sukuk’ bond sale


But more importantly, such a fundraising activity will also support the BSP’s goal to promote Islamic banking and finance in the country.

“So I think it has a good chance in the Philippines as a peso instrument instead of just a dollar instrument. Maybe it should be retail. Maybe small denominations,” Remolona said. —Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral

Secretary Kiko’s dream team

Agriculture Secretary Francisco “Kiko” Tiu Laurel Jr. is one step closer to building his dream team to lead the Department of Agriculture (DA), with the appointment of its 14th and last undersecretary.

On the sidelines of the inauguration of PMFTC Inc.’s facility in Tanauan City in Batangas province, Tiu Laurel said the DA leadership was now 90 percent complete.

The incoming agriculture undersecretary is already working while awaiting the appointment papers from Malacañang, according to Tiu Laurel, who assumed the top DA post in November last year.

READ: BIZ BUZZ: DA continues to fill up key posts


He said the roster of agriculture officials is a combination of homegrown officials who rose from the ranks and industry players.

As to why he has so many executives, Tiu Laurel said, “Alam mo sa laki ng coverage ng DA, kailangan may tumutok o mag-focus sa bawat area … from vegetables to fish to meat, ang laki, ang irrigation.”

(Given the extent of the DA’s coverage, we need to appoint people to focus on each area–from vegetables to fish to meat to irrigation. It’s huge).”

The DA, he added, is “one of the most complicated departments in the country.”

“Sa rami ng gagawin of course initially may overlapping but as we go along mag-aadjust yan at makaka-focus na lahat (With so many things to accomplish, of course, initially, there will be an overlap. But as we go along, we will be able to adjust and everyone will focus on their jobs),” the DA chief told reporters.

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Tiu Laurel will soon name the last official to join the DA. As we always say here, abangan! —Jordeene B. Lagare 

TAGS: Biz Buzz, retail bonds

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