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Robinsons Land lists bonds on PDEx

Posted on 08:32 PM, March 11, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

HOLDERS OF bonds issued by listed property firm Robinsons Land Corp. may begin trading these debt papers after the fixed-income exchange approved their listing.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, Robinsons Land, the real estate arm of Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, Inc., said the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) has approved the listing of its bonds maturing in July and in August 2014.

Robinsons Land sold P10 billion worth of five-year bonds last year to finance the construction of malls, office buildings, residential condominiums and budget hotels.

The listing is effective March 18 for P5 billion worth of bonds carrying an interest rate of 8.5% per annum and maturing in July 2014 and another P5 billion worth of bonds with an interest rate of 8.25% per annum and maturing in August 2014.

In a text message, Bach Johann M. Sebastian, senior vice president for corporate planning at JG Summit, said bond holders will be the first to benefit from the listing.

“It’s no big deal really. We already raised the money before. The listing mainly benefits the bondholders because that allows them to trade these [papers],” he said.

In a telephone interview yesterday, PDEx President and Chief Executive Cesar B. Crisol explained that listing also benefits the issuing companies since this gives them an idea of the price of their succeeding issues.

“Once these are listed, these can be traded by participants so there is price transparency since they get their bonds priced by the market,” he said.

“So for succeeding issues, they can gauge the pricing better. The market price will help them plan since they see where the prices of their bonds are going.

“This also gives them another funding source aside from banks, once they establish their name in the capital market.”

Mr. Crisol said Robinsons Land is the tenth company to list its bonds on the PDEx since company bond listings started in 2008.

The PDex chief added he expects more listings this year, but declined to say how many and which firms would do so.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed corporate bond issues almost quadrupled to P411.8 billion last year as companies issued more debt papers to take advantage of low interest rates, amid a volatile equities market that did not present a viable alternative.

Mr. Crisol said that as of end-February, total trading at the PDEx -- which also serves as trading platform for government bonds -- reached P481.77 billion, slightly lower than about P500 billion last year because the market waited for the government’s fiscal performance and for interest rate direction.

He, however, noted that the number trades for the past two months rose to 10,276 from 9,653 last year, meaning more investors were coming in.

Mr. Crisol added that the value of corporate bond trades reached P1.718 billion for the past two months compared to over P2 billion for the entire 2009.

“So for corporate bonds, we already exceeded the value in the first quarter because when we started in 2009, only two firms were listed, but this year we started with nine plus Robinsons Land now,” he said.

The companies that have listed bonds on the PDEX are Ayala Corp., Ayala Land, Inc., Manila Water Corp., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Globe Telecom, Inc., San Miguel Brewery, Inc., Megaworld Corp. and the Energy Development Corp.

Total corporate debt listed on the PDEX has reached around P114 billion. -- Don Gil K. Carreon


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