Filipinos abroad join first digital platform for Retail Treasury Bonds

FILIPINOS working and living abroad were among investors who bought five-year Progreso Retail (RTBs) via the Philippines’s first digital platform that enables small investors to buy government securities using smartphones and other digital devices.

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said it was able to raise P48.2 million from the sale via the mobile application (app) Bonds.PH. Small investors in the Philippines accounted for P46.46 million of the total sales while a total of P1.95 million was invested by Filipinos in 24 countries.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said in a statement on Thursday small investors accounted for 80 percent of almost 3,000 transactions made through the Bonds.PH app that were for amounts of P10,000 and below.

Filipinos in Singapore were the biggest subscribers to the RTBs via the app, buying a total of P710,000 in RTBs during the offer period.

Meanwhile, Filipinos based in the United States and Qatar bought a total of P350,000 and P275,000, respectively.

Australia-based Filipinos invested P100,000 in total followed by those living in France with P55,000 and the United Arab Emirates with P50,000 combined.

Filipino expatriates in Switzerland, the Bahamas, Japan, Bahrain, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Kuwait, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Italy, Spain, Cuba, Greenland, Guam, Hungary, Taiwan and Vietnam invested P40,000 and below in the bonds via the app.

The BTr launched the app last July 16 in partnership with Union Bank of the Philippines and the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange. The BTr said the app was designed to make purchasing government bonds more convenient.

The mobile app was downloaded almost 25,000 times with users located in 85 countries, de Leon added.

After a simple verification process, users can easily cash in through the app, invest for as low as P5,000 and watch their investment grow, the BTr said.

All in all, the BTr notched a record-high sale of five-year RTBs at P516.3 billion over the three-week offer period from July 16 to August 7. The total issue size consisted of P488.5 billion in new subscriptions and P27.8 billion more from the bond exchange program.

As with the BTr’s recent offerings, the online ordering facility via www.treasury.gov.ph/rtb was also made available. Proceeds from the RTB sale will be used by the government for its budgetary support for Covid-19 response and economic recovery plan, the BTr said.

The Progreso Bonds were offered with a 2.625 percent fixed annual interest rate payable every quarter and a maturity date of August 12, 2025.

Earnings from RTBs like the Progreso Bonds are relatively higher compared to bank time deposits that offer an average of 1.125 percent interest for the same five-year tenor, the BTr said.

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