Philippine bond market rebounds


Linklaters has acted on behalf of three significant high-value bond offerings issued by Philippine corporations in the past five weeks, with the surge in activity prompting a leader of the firm’s team to suggest the beginning of a market recovery from the impact of covid-19.

The firm counselled Credit Suisse (Singapore), Standard Chartered Bank and UBS, as joint lead managers and bookrunners, on the US$600 million 4.125% notes due 2030 by JGSH Philippines, a subsidiary of one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, JG Summit Holdings. This is the biggest 10-year offshore bond deal by a Philippine company since 2013.

Linklaters also advised on two bond issuances by International Container Terminals Services (ICTSI), including acting for Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) and JP Morgan Securities as joint lead managers and bookrunners on the first issuance of US$400 million senior notes. It was also the first unrated corporate bond issuance from the Philippines to be issued on investment-grade terms.

The second issuance by ICTSI involved acting for Citigroup Global Markets, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank as joint lead managers and bookrunners on the US$300 million senior perpetual securities and concurrent tender for its outstanding senior guaranteed perpetual capital securities.

Capital markets partners Jonathan Horan and Amit Singh led the Linklaters team, supported by counsel Phill Hall and managing associate Samuel Lee.

Horan told Asia Business Law Journal: “The recent activity with the Philippines bond market has been very encouraging. It tracks similar resilience of bond markets across Asia during the initial covid response and lockdowns. We expect the bond markets to continue to provide liquidity and funding for the right issuers as the region moves into a covid management and recovery period.”

JGSH is one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines with business interests in air transportation, banking, food manufacturing, hotels, petrochemicals, power generation, publishing, real estate and property development, and telecommunications.

ICTSI is a global port management company headquartered in Manila, and the Philippines’ largest multinational and transnational company, having established operations in developed and emerging market economies in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.