Manila: PLDT Inc., a major Philippine telecommunications company, returned to the international bond market after 18 years and was met with strong investor demand.
The firm raised $600 million in a two-part issuance. The deal was priced with the lowest ever coupon for a 10-year and 30-year offering by a Philippine company, PLDT said in a statement.
Orders came to $10.2 billion, or 17 times the amount sold, the largest such figures for any Philippine issuer, it said.
Such brisk demand for the debt of Philippine companies could encourage more borrowers and ease refinancing risks amid the pandemic. The nation's biggest companies need to repay the most debt ever next year.
The broader Asian credit market has also been lifted recently as money managers look to pick up extra yield as central banks keep rates low to cushion economies from the Covid-19 crisis.
"While the proceeds will go mainly to refinancing our existing debt at lower interest rates, a portion will also be used to fund capital expenditures so that we can continue investing in network leadership and drive revenue growth," CFO Anabelle Lim-Chua said in a statement.
PLDT's successful bond sale may have been driven by "strong liquidity and yield pickup," Philippine Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said in a mobile-phone reply to query.
She said the government "will see" if there's an opportunity for the sovereign issuer to return to the dollar bond market this year.