Three-month interest rate rises

Published by rudy Date posted on March 22, 2011

THE Bureau of the Treasury on Monday allowed the cost of three-month borrowing to rise, underpinning expectations that the central bank would tighten monetary policy on March 24.

“There are some speculations from the markets that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas [BSP] will hike policy rates on Thursday. But nothing’s unusual,” National Treasurer Roberto Tan said after the auction of Treasury bills.

The rate on 91-day T-bills averaged 1.125 percent, or 8.4 basis points higher than the 1.041 percent quoted when the three-month debt papers were last sold on March 7.

Papers of the same maturity were last quoted at 1.500 percent in the secondary market.

The auction committee fully awarded the P1-billion worth of three-month IOUs on offer, bids for which reached P2.11 billion.
The rates on six-month and one-year T-bills, however, went down.

The rate on 182-day T-bills averaged 1.753 percent, or 3.8 basis points lower than the 1.791 percent the six-month papers fetched on March 7.

The auction committee also allowed the rate on the 364-day IOUs to slide to 2.865 percent, or 2.2 basis points lower than the 2.887 percent quoted two weeks ago.

Secondary market rates for the 182- and 364-day papers were last quoted at 1.800 and 2.750 percent.

The government sold P3.5-billion worth of the six-month T-bills, and P2.885-billion worth of the one-year papers, bids for which exceeded P10 billion.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. had said the scope to keep rates low had narrowed and that this scenario “still holds.” Despite rising international prices of oil and other commodities, the BSP has kept its key interest rates at record lows of four and six percent for the overnight borrowing and lending windows since July 2009. –Lailany P. Gomez, Manila Times

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