As Asia’s debtors flip homeward, native bond issuance surges By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees depart Financial institution Indonesia headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 2, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

By Rae Wee

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian issuance of bonds denominated in native currencies have ballooned to their largest in additional than a decade as debtors flip shy of costly U.S. greenback debt and faucet cheaper, liquid markets at residence.

A complete of $2.65 trillion has been raised in Asia excluding Japan and Australia by way of 12,075 native foreign money bond points by September, information from Refinitiv confirmed.

That displays a roughly 10% improve in proceeds from a yr earlier and the very best for the year-to-date interval in over a decade.

Of this, 47.2% got here from authorities issuers, at $1.25 trillion throughout 2,057 points. This was adopted by the financials sector, constituting 31.2%, or $825.78 billion, from 5,419 issuances.

“Native foreign money markets are extra peculiarly insulated from what’s taking place on the worldwide entrance,” mentioned Wong Kwok Kuan, managing director and regional head of debt markets at Maybank Funding Banking Group.

The Federal Reserve has hiked rates of interest by 300 foundation factors (bps) because the begin of the yr, taking the Fed funds goal price above 3%. The most recent projections present that price rising to 4.25%-4.5% by the tip of 2022.

That frenetic tempo of price rises makes native foreign money bonds comparatively cheaper to subject than greenback bonds, notably because the greenback scales multi-year highs and weakens native currencies.

In the meantime, price hikes in Asia have usually been extra subdued.

Financial institution Indonesia, as an illustration, solely started climbing in August and has raised charges by a complete of 75 bps. The Philippine central financial institution has elevated charges by 225 bps since Could and the Financial institution of Thailand has hiked by 25 bps twice, in August and September.

Andrew Lim, regional head of debt capital markets at Maybank Funding Banking Group, pointed to how the U.S. greenback capital market had additionally “seen intervals the place it was shut given the macro volatility”, inflicting corporates to look onshore.


Indonesian firm Mandiri Tunas Finance, which is majority-owned by Financial institution Mandiri, raised 376.615 billion rupiah ($24.80 million) of 5-year bonds at 6.75% in February. In August 2020, it paid 8.6% on 5-year bonds.

Yields on the 5-year U.S. Treasuries have risen from about 0.4% in December 2020 to about 3.8% at present. Credit score bonds are sometimes priced on spreads over sovereign bonds.

The yield on Asian funding grade company greenback bonds is now at 5.8%, up 300 bps this yr.

The spurt in native bond issuance has additionally been spurred by a rising urge for food for such bonds, as home buyers – sometimes the principle consumers – hunt for alternatives to remain invested at residence.

“The native foreign money markets are effectively supported by home institutional buyers akin to life insurance coverage firms and asset managers, as they’ve native foreign money belongings and particular mandates to deploy into these markets,” mentioned Edmund Leong, UOB’s head of group funding banking.

Thailand-headquartered Gulf Power Growth Public Firm Restricted efficiently issued debentures totalling 35 billion baht ($940 million) in August, of which 11 billion baht was distributed to excessive web value buyers, banks, insurance coverage and securities companies.

To make certain, buyers say that the quantity and quantities raised from issuances this yr aren’t shocking, and replicate regular progress in markets over the previous years.

From 2020 to 2021, the entire quantity raised from native foreign money bonds issued in Asia, excluding Japan and Australia, elevated by practically 15%, and from 2019 to 2020, proceeds had been practically 30% greater.

Whilst charges rise, issuers are anticipated to proceed tapping home markets for refinancing of current debt and different capital necessities.

“I’d say financing prices stay inside expectations, palatable,” mentioned Leonard Kwan, portfolio supervisor of T. Rowe Value’s dynamic rising markets bond technique.

“For essentially the most half, it could nonetheless be cheaper to finance domestically, even at present greater charges, than exterior markets.”

($1 = 15,185.0000 rupiah)

($1 = 37.2300 baht)

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