A blockchain proof of concept for the digital issuance of retail bonds in the Philippines has been successfully completed by Standard Chartered.
The global bank partnered with Union Bank of Philippines (UB) for the project which involved a 3 and 5.25 dual tranche issuance totalling PHP9bn ($187m) being successfully mirrored on the platform created by UB and SC Ventures, the innovation arm of the Standard Chartered.
Orders received were then tokenised, mirroring the traditional transaction but not allocated directly to investors, in keeping with existing retail bond guidelines.
The two banks are hailing the proof of concept as a milestone in the Philippines' retail bond markets and one that will help make the asset class more accessible to retail investors.
The proof of concept follows similar projects that have been completed elsewhere which involve marrying a digital order takling front end with a tokenised back-end in order to make bond trading more accessible beyond its traditionally institutional investor base.
“We are keen to see the day when investors can buy and sell bonds, even on the secondary markets at a click of a button on their phones,” said UB executive vice president and chief finance officer Jose Emmanuel Hilado.
“This proof of concept begins the journey of the democratisation of bonds as an investment destination which supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations,” he added.