MANILA - The Philippines plans to issue its maiden sukuk bonds by the end of November, its finance secretary said, as it seeks to develop alternative funding sources for its budget.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who last month said he hoped to raise $1 billion from the maiden offer, said the government will target institutional funds in the Middle East which would be allowed to buy a mininum $200,000 in sukuk bonds.
"We'll go back to the Middle East to sell our sukuk bonds," Diokno said in an embargoed press conference, adding they may launch the issue in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Philippine officials last month held a non-deal road show to woo investors.
Former National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon, who was appointed to the central bank's monetary board in September, said last month the bonds could carry a five-year or 10-year maturity.
The Philippines, one of Asia's most active sovereign debt issuers, plans to borrow around $44 billion from debt markets, with about a quarter of that coming from foreign sources, to fund the government's 5.77 trillion pesos budget for next year.
The Philippines is currently in the process of raising funds from an onshore offering of U.S. dollar denominated retail bonds, with the offer to close on Oct. 6.
"We have some leeway as long it's a domestic borrowing," Diokno said. ($1 = 56.6900 Philippine pesos)
(Reporting by Mikhail Flores; Editing by Michael Perry)