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December 20, 2023

Philippines to Launch First Tokenized Treasury Bonds to Strengthen Domestic Debt Market

December 20, 2023

The Bureau of the Treasury of the Philippines sold PHP 15 billion (USD 270 million) in tokenized debt to investors, particularly institutional ones, in the final week of November. The bonds will be maintained in the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Registry, a Treasury-owned blockchain-based registry. A dual registry structure will also be implemented with the DLT Registry running concurrently with the National Registry of Scripless Securities (NRoSS).

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has launched multiple debt diversification initiatives to expand the nation’s domestic debt market in the 2023 fiscal year--including the issuance of asset-backed sukuk bonds which have gained popularity among Malaysian and Emirati investors. Consideration of debt digitization is likely a result of the prevalence of e-wallets and digital payment options among the public, as reflected by the interest of retail buyers in the purchase of the bonds.

The tokenized bonds have attracted an unanticipated number of bids from private and public sector entities globally at 31.426 billion pesos (a three-fold increase from the initial offer of 10 billion pesos). Deputy Treasurer Erwin Sta. Ana expressed the commitment of the treasury to continued exploration of DLT options for state-owned financial institutions. 

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