Carlos G. Dominguez
Secretary of Finance
BSP Monetary Board Member Felipe Medalla; PDS Group President and CEO Ramon Monzon; PDEx President and CEO Antonino Nakpil; PDTC President and CEO Maria Theresa Ravalo; LBP President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo; DBP President and CEO Emmanuel Herbosa; National Treasurer Lea De Leon; distinguished guests; fellow workers in government: Good morning.
Today, we celebrate a critical milestone for the country. This listing of the Philippine Government’s first-ever Retail Dollar Bonds is a moment of pride. The issuance supports the development of our capital markets and helps fulfill President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of financial inclusion among Filipinos.
Through skillful execution of the government’s financing program, our people now have the opportunity to participate in a secure Retail Dollar Bond investment for just a minimum of 300 US dollars or around 15 thousand pesos. They can also increase the amount by a minimum of 100 US dollars or 5 thousand pesos. Apart from having a safe investment instrument, small investors are given the opportunity to support the financing needs of the country. This is far more worthy than gaining interest in their savings that they can otherwise earn from other investment sources. It is because of bond offerings such as this one that we have been able to raise funds for our economic investments and COVID-19 response measures.
Aside from the low minimum investment amount, another contributing factor to the groundbreaking success of this issuance was the ease of access made possible through online investment platforms. With digital channels, we have opened this investment opportunity to our overseas Filipino community. Investors can now easily purchase government securities through the Bonds dot PH mobile application; the Overseas Filipino Bank’s and LandBank’s mobile applications; and the Treasury’s Online Ordering Facility.
The Bureau of the Treasury also launched its own mobile application that allows investors to learn and understand the fundraising and debt management activities of the national government. This illustrates our efforts to use modern digital technologies to enhance public participation in bond investments.
We witnessed a very robust response to our first-ever Retail Dollar Bonds issuance. On October 1, the Bureau of the Treasury closed the offering for a total of 1.59 billion US dollars, almost four times our initial target of 400 million US dollars. This is a testament to our local and overseas investors’ trust and confidence in the solid fundamentals of the Philippine economy and the Duterte administration’s fiscal prudence.
Our web- and app-based investment channels saw 520 transactions raising 810 thousand US dollars. This translates to an average placement of around 1,500 US dollars per online transaction. Through digital means, our Retail Dollar Bonds reached Filipinos from more than 30 countries.
We have now successfully opened another channel to encourage more Filipinos to place their savings in secure investment opportunities. Making investments in government securities easy and convenient contributes to our efforts to expand financial literacy among Filipinos. We will continuously introduce more innovative ways in future issuances to ensure that we create a more inclusive government securities market.
Through retail bond issuances like this one, we are confident that we will achieve our goal of financial inclusion among Filipinos and restore the vigor of the Philippine economy.