Philippine bond market growth picks up in 1st quarter

THE bond market’s growth picked up in the first quarter of 2024 due to increased debt issues by the government and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Outstanding local currency (LCY) bonds grew 2.2% quarter on quarter to $219 billion, bringing total issues to about P12.3 trillion during the period. The growth rate had been 1% during the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asia Bond Monitor report for March 2024.

The bond market’s growth was the fourth slowest among eight economies in Emerging East Asia which posted quarter-on-quarter expansions, though it exceeded the region’s 1.4% growth.

Vietnam’s bond market posted the strongest growth at 7.7%.

Year on year, the Philippine bond market grew 6.4%.

Treasury and other government bonds outstanding expanded 2.7% quarter on quarter to $180 billion in the first quarter, accelerating from the 2.1% expansion in the three months to December. These bonds had accounted for 82.5% of the total debt stock at the end of 2023.

Outstanding central bank securities grew 20.2% to $14 billion, accounting for 6.25.3% of the total.

Meanwhile, corporate bonds outstanding contracted by 8.2% to $25 billion due to a large number of maturities and the low volume of issuance during the quarter. These accounted for 11.3% of the Philippine LCY debt stock. — Aaron Michael C. Sy