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Philippines Treasury Bureau expands debt offerings to include tokenized bonds

Institutional investors will soon be able to borrow peso-denominated tokenized Treasury bonds (TTBs), a move by the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) to diversify its debt offering options in line with the national government’s digitalization efforts.

In a statement on Thursday, the BTr said it appointed the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as issue managers of TTBs, which are being offered on a one year fixed rate. The bureau will offer the tokenized bonds beginning on November 20, but the issuance will start on November 22.

“As part of the National Government’s Government Securities Digitalization Roadmap, the maiden issuance of TTBs aims to provide the proof of concept for the wider use of DLT (distributed ledger technology) in the government bond market,” the BTr said in a statement.

Under the Treasury’s guidelines, qualified investors can borrow a minimum of PHP10 million (US$179,229) in tokenized bonds, with increments of PHP1 million (US$17,923). Interested buyers have until 12:30 p.m. on November 20 to submit their bid, the BTr said, adding that the acceptance of proposals will be released later on the same day.

The Philippines adds to the roster of countries exploring tokenized real-world assets amid growing interest among governments in Asia. Just this year, Hong Kong amassed HKD800 million (US$102.5 million) for its first tokenized green bond, which was offered under its Green Bond Program.

Financial hub Singapore has also integrated blockchain into its finance sector, having launched a string of pilot initiatives centered on tokenizing real-world assets in partnership with notable institutions, including JPMorgan (NASDAQ: JPM), DBS Bank, and BNY Mellon (NASDAQ: BK).

Tokenizing real-world assets is a stepping stone toward the gradual adoption of blockchain technology in the Philippines, with BTr Deputy Treasurer Erwin Sta. Ana telling media outlet Cointelegraph that the bureau will “continue to study the technology and test how far we can take it.”

“This proof of concept will serve as the starting point of the NG’s broader agenda of democratizing investment through digital technology, significantly reducing settlement risk and friction costs, ultimately leading to a financially inclusive local bond market,” the BTr noted.

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