Victory for the Philippines

In which bonds should you have put your cash in 2002?

Private bankers worth their salt will have been advising their more daring clients, that the only performing bonds worth buying so far in 2002 have been in the high yield area.

These bonds have had stellar performances over the past couple of months. Indeed, from January 1 to March 11, the best performing bonds have come from the Philippines and Thailand.

Topping the performance league table is PLDT. Its long-dated bonds that mature in 2019 have given a total return of 31%, while its 09s have returned 22%.

Meanwhile the Subic 08s have returned 19%.

Next in line are the Thai bank sub debt deals. Thai Farmers 16s and Bangkok Bank 29s have returned 16%.

However, the party may be over. Says ING's head of fixed income research, Damien Wood: "In early December, we were advising clients that Asian high yield was set to outperform in 2002. It has to date. However, the returns are likely to plateau now as the bonds are nearing or are at full value."

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