PDMO launching cheap bonds via blockchain

PDMO launching cheap bonds via blockchain

The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) plans to sell 200 million baht worth of savings bonds with a smaller ticket at an unprecedented face value of 1 baht each through Krungthai Bank's (KTB) blockchain-based e-wallet to enable retail investors to better access the savings alternative.

With the blockchain system, PDMO can break up the amount of the savings bond face value to as low as 1 baht from the regular 1,000 baht, said Patricia Mongkhonvanit, director-general of PDMO.

The minimum subscription is set at 100 baht per investor, with investment capped at 500,000 baht.

PDMO also plans to broaden savings bond distribution channels to KTB's e-wallet from bank branches, ATMs and mobile banking for more convenient and faster transactions, she said.

The government previously handed out 1,000 baht in the Taste, Shop, Spend scheme through KTB's Pao Tang e-wallet, making it easier for people to subscribe to the imminent bonds through a blockchain-based e-wallet system, said Ms Patricia.

The 200-million-baht savings bond offering will test the waters and those who are interested in subscribing must have accounts at KTB and apply to the bank's e-wallet.

PDMO recently closed the sales of savings bonds worth 50 billion baht, which was part of the government's 1-trillion-baht borrowing plan to alleviate the damage from the pandemic.

The bonds were divided into five- and 10-year maturities. The five-year bonds carried an average coupon rate of 2.4%, effectively 1.9% after tax, while the longer-dated bonds had an average rate of 3%, netting 2.55% after tax.

Thais aged 60 or above residing domestically were the initial target for the special savings bonds, with a minimum subscription of 1,000 baht and a maximum of 2 million per person, per bank. The leftover bonds will be offered to either Thai nationals or those living in Thailand.

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