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DEBT: PH on bumpy path back to Debt woes?

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DEBT: PH on bumpy path back to Debt woes?


Maybe not!

Actually, the PH's external Debt-to-GDP ratio has improved in recent years.

But some feel this will not last, and the PH may be set to overspend, and borrow too much.

(Personally, I am less worried... I think it helps that people are talking about this risk.)


History - but not up to date


This number, below 30% is far better than many countries


Another source, with different figures: Govt Debt to GDP - shows declines also




A worried article appeared in today's --- PH Inquirer / Inquirer.net


Red flags on government debt - Commentary, Eduardo C. Tadem


"The Philippines is to go on a borrowing binge from 2017 onwards to fund a massive infrastructure program estimated to cost $167 Billion (P8.5 trillion) over 10 years..."


Various Asian countries are offering PH big loans to fund this spending:


China : $15 bn for large scale infrastructure projects + $3 bn from Bank of Chna'

Japan : $8.1 bn - in official loans and private investments

ADB - : $100mn for feasibility studies, and $770mn for water-related projects


Within the DU30 admin, Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno has argued than only 20% would be funded externally,

with the 80% to be funded from domestic sources


The writer wants borrowing to benefit "poor and marginalized sectors of the population"

He regards as "illegitimate": "debts that only benefit the rich and properties classes."



I agree that the impact on all sectors should be examined.

But doesn't improved infrastructure; better roads, rail and transport benefit everyone?

And a better functioning infrastructure INSIDE the country can help make it easier for the growing demand in areas like metro Manila and Cebu etc., to be serviced from domestic sources and domestic manufacturers, rather than from foreign imports

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Chronic underspending - is another reason I think the Debt will not build up


We are seeing this even under DU30


Infra structure spending down 20% in April - Inquirer, may 29, 2017


"Spending decline by over a fifth year-on-year to P33,5 billion due to the lack of big projects unlike last year when several projects were implement ahead of the elections.'


"Disbursements of the Dept of Public works and Highways were lower year-on-year"


"Disbursements on Infrastructure and other capital outlays increased 2.6 percent to P151 billion"


Historical trends show:

+ A jump in spending at the end of a retiring administration on projects favored by the outgoing people, and

+ A slowdown in the first six months of a new administration as as the new priorities take shape

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Look at these charts carefully.

A slowdown in the growth of Real Estate related debt, tends to be associated with weak prices


1 / Makati Condo prices - note slow period & usefulness of ALI as a bellwether


2 / Look what happened to RE & construction loans during the slow period


Presently, we have a slowdown in rents, and secondhand prices, which are actually declining. But prices in the primary market are still rising, and sales are strong - especially for the Luxury properties. So maybe RE loans are NOT declining.


3 / this chart worried people - who started talking about a Bubble. But Comm'l Vacancies are now very low




BTW, I cannot tell you which is "the chicken" and which is "the egg"

Instead of one driving the other, I think they are both cyclical, and co-related; they reinforce each other in rising and falling markets.

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  • 1 month later...

With the BUILD, BUILD, BUILD plans moving forward...


It makes sense to monitor the FX reserves of the PH governments


GIR dips to $81.4 billion as of end June - BSP


+ PH's gross international reserves (GIR), FX including gold, dropped by $770 to $81.41 billion

+ Reason: foreign debt payments, and lower gold prices

+ Over the last 12 months, the GIR reserves are down $3.87 billion lower

+ Present levels of GIR would cover 8.7 months of imports (or foreign goods)

+ Also is equivalent to 5.6 times short term foreign currency denominated debt


This year (2017) is expected there will be a Balance of payments deficit of $500 million, because of higher imports.

GIR at year-end is now expected to be $80.5 billion - down from $84,7 billion

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  • 5 months later...

Innovation: Ayala's $400 Million of Perpetual Notes

PH:ALI vs TLT (long term US Treasuries) ...

update / Last, TLT: $124.80 / PH:ALI: P43 / Ratio: ali/tlt: 34.45%


Maybe not a brilliant time to be snapping up these notes, because long rates may be headed higher. But even at a 5%+ coupon, the market loved them.

+ Ayala Corp was the issuer, called "PH Market Deal of the year"

+ $400 Million Sr Notes offered, & they were oversubscribed with final orders breaching $2.5Bn

+ Term: PERPETUAL (like UK Consols) - with a fixed rate of 5.125%

+ Issued by sub, AYC Finance, and gteed by Ayala Corp., the 183-year old parent.

This was Ayala's first issue since 2003, and attracted demand from foreigners seeking high quality exposure to PH borrowers

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