Corporate bonds

PDS plans to launch the country’s first digital corporate bonds in February

THE Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS) will launch the country’s first digital corporate bond in February to deepen local capital markets, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

The show will use distributed ledger technology, where transactions are recorded across multiple sites instead of a centralized database.

The Chairman and CEO of Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) Antonio A. Nakpil said PDS was working with a Singapore-based fintech company to deploy the digital ledger backed by distributed ledger technology.

“The PDS aims to complete an end-to-end test of the digital ledger and custodian with market participants by January this year and is targeting its eventual live launch with the issuance of a digital bond by the end of February,” he said.

Mr. Nakpil said the roadmap for digitizing the corporate bond market includes the use of distributed ledger technology, which will be integrated into the PDS online platform.

The platform, or Electronic Securities Portal (e-SIP), was launched for the primary market last year.

e-SIP enables online submission of documents required for PDEx registration and Philippine Depository and Trust Corp registration services. for initial public offerings of corporate bonds.

After Ayala Land, Inc.’s pilot project last year, in which the company offered its 10 billion peso four-year bond, four more issuers onboarded securities and customer investors through the online portal. .

Last month, PDS said it was preparing cybersecurity measures as it rolled out its online platform for the secondary market.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said he supports these digitization initiatives aimed at deepening the country’s capital markets. But he also expressed concern about hackers.

“I’m telling you this kind of scanning is probably going to be a target for hackers and scammers, and just plain thieves,” he said.

Mr. Nakpil said that the PDS assesses the vulnerability of its systems to potential threats.

The PDS is working with the Philippine Bankers Association and the National Association of Securities Dealer Salesmen, Inc. to use e-SIP to standardize processes for customers.

“This initiative aims to eliminate a cumbersome process for investors who must continue to fill out the same forms multiple times when buying corporate bonds from different brokers,” the DoF said. — Jenina P. Ibanez