Philippine central bank faces financing decision

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has begun to consider the difficult task of how it might re-finance $400 million of eurobonds which fall due in February.

The Philippines central bank is scouring the market for potential options and is said to remain optimistic that it will be able to find a cost-effective solution before the end of the year, despite the fact that timing could hardly be more inopportune.

Impeachment proceedings against President Estrada have pushed sovereign spreads deep into single-B territory and prompted concerns that prolonged political risk could see the rating agencies step into action for the first time since the beginning of the Asian crisis. Bankers consequently state that the central bank remains open to all-comers. Although officials say they have resolved to completely stay out of the international markets for the whole of next year...

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