Investors Flock to Indonesia’s 30-Year Bonds

12 January, 2012 | Source: Jakata globe

Indonesia sold dollar-denominated 30-year bonds for the first time in four years on Monday, after receiving more than double the amount offered, reflecting growing confidence in the country’s portfolio assets as its credit rating was restored to investment grade last month.

The $1.75 billion sale is part of a bigger plan to issue a total of $15 billion in global medium-term notes in the coming years, which is higher than the $9 billion that was planned earlier.

The 30-year bonds offered 5.25 percent coupon to yield 5.375 percent, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. It last issued a 30-year bond in 2008.

The yield was more than 200 basis points higher than that for the US 30-year bond, which yielded 3.09 percent as of Monday. HSBC Holdings, JP Morgan Chase and Standard Chartered arranged the bond sale.

The offering was the archipelago’s first since Fitch Ratings on Dec. 15 raised Indonesia’s ranking by one level to BBB-, the lowest investment grade, as it lowered France’s rating outlook and put Spain and Italy on review for a downgrade.

“Those emerging-countries’ fiscal conditions are quite good, making it easier for them to issue and attract investors,” said Kenichiro Ikezawa, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Daiwa SB Investments, which oversees about $60 billion. “Indonesia just got upgraded by Fitch and of course, [the] speculation is for others to follow suit eventually.”

Proceeds from the bond sale will be used to help plug the 2012 state budget deficit. The government has forecast the state budget shortfall this year to hit Rp 124 trillion ($13.5 billion), or 1.5 percent of gross domestic product.

Indonesia last year posted a budget deficit-to-GDP ratio of 1.27 percent, which amounted to Rp 90.1 trillion, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said last week.

The Finance Ministry said it had received $3.6 billion in orders, of which 51 percent of investors came from the United States, 12 percent from Europe and 37 percent from Asia, including Indonesia.

Split by type of investor, 73 percent of the buyers were asset managers and 20 percent were banks, four percent were insurance companies and pension funds and three percent were private banks.

Indonesia’s GDP will increase 6.2 percent in 2012, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Bank Indonesia estimates growth rose 6.5 percent last year, up from 6.1 percent in 2010.

Consumer prices rose 3.79 percent in December from a year earlier, the lowest since March 2010.

Legislators last month approved a land-acquisition bill that will allow the government to accelerate construction projects in a move to boost the nation’s economic growth over the next decade.

The law may reinvigorate President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s push to double spending on roads, ports and airports to $140 billion in his second term.

Southeast Asia will have relatively strong economic growth in 2012, International Monetary Fund deputy managing director Zhu Min said in Singapore last week.

Recent developments “are potential rating triggers, including the passage of the land-acquisition bill” last month, Christian de Guzman, a Singapore-based assistant vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, said last week .

Agost Benard, Standard & Poor’s Singapore-based associate director, reiterated the company’s stance that it may follow Fitch should the government continue to improve fiscal administrative and structural reforms, in an interview last week.

The Philippines sold $1.5 billion of 25-year, sub-investment grade notes at a yield of 5 percent last week.

“You are better compensated for risk on Indonesia’s bonds than on the Philippine dollar bonds,” said Endre Pedersen, the Hong Kong-based managing director for fixed-income investments at Manulife Asset Management, which has an Asian bond portfolio valued at $29 billion.

“Not only are you getting better yield but also a better sovereign credit.”

Brazil on Jan. 3 sold $750 million of notes due in 2021 to yield 3.45 percent, while Mexico issued $2 billion of 10-year bonds the same day to yield 3.71 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Philippines sold its global notes a day later.

 

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