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Philippines sells $3.1 bln in retail treasury bonds so far

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MANILA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The Philippines is on track to atleast match its previous record sales of retail treasury bonds,having sold 128 billion pesos ($3.1 billion) of 25-year retailbonds less than halfway through the public offer period.

The government will try to limit daily bond sales to ensuresupply will last until the end of the public offer on Oct. 22,Deputy Treasurer Eduardo Mendiola said on Friday.

"I am being deluged by lots of orders," he told Reuters.

Manila has cancelled a treasury bill auction set for Oct.15, and an Oct. 23 auction of 7-year bonds to make room for theoffer.

Reynaldo Montalbo, senior vice president at First MetroInvestment Corp , one of the issue managers, said thegovernment has sold another 65 billion pesos worth of the bondssince it raised 63 billion pesos from an auction on Tuesday.

The government may raise as much as 200 billion pesos fromits second retail bond offering this year, which could lead tolower debt issues in 2013. The current record for a retail bondsale is 180 billion pesos, set in February.

Manila has set the coupon rate for the 25-year retail paperat 6.125 percent, making it a more attractive investment thankeeping money in a bank, which generally offer around 3 percentin interest on savings.

The retail bonds pay interest payments quarterly.

The Southeast Asian country borrows from the local andforeign debt markets to help fund its budget deficit, which ison track to undershoot this year's target of 279 billion pesos,or 2.6 percent of gross domestic product.

($1 = 41.59 Philippine pesos)

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

((karen.lema@thomsonreuters.com)(+632 841-8938)(ReutersMessaging: karen.lema.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: PHILIPPINES ECONOMY/BONDS