THE Bureau of the Treasury fully awarded P25 billion in Treasury Bills (T-bills) on Monday’s auction as rates ended up mixed.
Nonetheless, National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon expressed satisfaction over the auction results, saying the rates were “within secondary levels tempered by lower inflation print in March.”
Inflation for March settled at 4.5 percent, easing from February’s 4.7 percent. Still, the imprint is higher than the 2.5 percent recorded last year. For the first quarter of this year, inflation averaged 4.5 percent, higher than the 2.7 percent in the same period in 2020.
The government’s target range for inflation this year is 2 percent to 4 percent. A higher inflation rate usually dampens investor appetite for T-bills. De Leon, however, noted there was “healthy tender” for the debt paper.
The auction was oversubscribed as the securities attracted tenders of P54.7 billion, more than twice the P25-billion offering.
The 91-day T-bills fetched an average rate of 1.325 percent, up by 3 basis points from the previous auction’s 1.295 percent. Tenders for the security hit P11.03 billion, more than double the P5-billion offer.
Meanwhile, the 182-day T-bills capped at an average rate of 1.695 percent, a 4.9 basis point-hike compared to 1.646 percent in the previous auction. Bids for the tenor amounted to P15.85 billion, nearly twice the P8-billion offering.
Lastly, the 364-day T-bills’ average rate was slightly down to 1.903 percent compared to 1.912 percent in the last auction. Tenders for the debt paper reached P27.87 billion, also more than twice the P12 billion offer.
In a bid to take advantage of good liquidity conditions, the government has also programmed to borrow a total of P170 billion in April, higher than the P160-billion it programmed in March.
The national government’s outstanding debt as of end-February this year soared to a new record high of P10.406 trillion as the government continued to borrow more money to respond to the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
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