Friday, October 22, 2021

Rising debt and weak economy pose risk to PH’s credit ratings, says ING

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Expectations of easing inflation lowered interest rates across the board and allowed the Treasury Office to raise 35 billion pesos of short-term Treasury bills on Monday.

However, the continued rise in public debt has raised concerns about its possible impact on the country’s credit ratings. One international bank, for example, warned of a possible credit rating downgrade, as the share of government debt in gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of March ended slightly above the manageable 60 percent threshold.

On Monday, the Treasury awarded P5 billion in 91-day benchmark debt paper with an average yield of 1.27 percent, down from 1.278 percent last week.

It also sold P8 billion in 182-day notes at 1.54 percent, down from 1.549 percent previously.

The P12 billion in 364-day treasury bills offered reached an annual rate of 1.81 percent, down from 1.829 percent.

In the three terms, tenders at P83.7 billion, which means that the auction has tripled the offer.

The National Treasurer, Rosalía de León, highlighted the strong participation of investors, since rates decreased marginally.

De Leon said the Treasury opened its tap service window to sell another P5 billion in one-year treasury bills to 11 eligible government securities brokers.

While the government continued to borrow to finance the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, ING senior Filipino economist Nicholas Mapa warned that the late-March debt-to-GDP ratio of 60.4 percent was “a development. worrying and gives one more reason for the ‘big three’ [debt watchers] to take a closer look at the country’s ‘valuable’ credit rating ”. Map was referring to Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. These rating agencies cited the country’s low debt ratios and higher-than-peer GDP growth prospects as the basis for maintaining their British pound credit ratings for the Philippines, Mapa said.

“The rising debt-to-GDP ratio and below-average GDP performance will surely draw the attention of the ‘big three’ and leave the Philippines susceptible to a revision of the country’s outlook or even a total rating downgrade. credit if the ratio remains above 60 percent for an extended period of time, “he said. INQ

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