THE Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is set to raise P170 billion from the domestic debt market in May, as the government seeks to boost liquidity amid the pandemic.

In an advisory, the BTr said the May domestic borrowing plan is the same amount programmed for this month.

The BTr said it would borrow P100 billion during the weekly offering of Treasury bills (T-bills), and another P70 billion via Treasury bonds (T-bonds) to be offered fortnightly.

In a Viber message to reporters, National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said the borrowing program was unchanged to “build liquidity and make the curve more efficient.”

“Investors’ bias (is currently) on the belly for yield pickup without long duration risk,” she said.

A bond trader said by telephone that the movement of rates and demand on the upcoming auctions would depend on the economic data to be released in early May, such as April inflation and first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP).

The Philippine Statistics Authority will report April inflation data on May 5 and first-quarter GDP data on May 11.

The BTr kept the P25-billion weekly program for T-bills to be offered every Monday. This is broken down into P5 billion in 91-day debt, P8 billion in 182-day debt and P12 billion in 364-day securities.

It also planned to raise P35 billion in five-year T-bonds on May 6, and another P35 billion via  seven-year notes on May 20.

The government raised P205 billion from the local debt market this month, more than the programmed P170 billion, as it opened its tap facility on several occasions to take advantage of low rates and strong demand  during its auctions.

The government is looking to borrow P3 trillion this year from domestic and external sources to help fund a budget deficit seen to hit 8.9% of GDP. — Beatrice M. Laforga