MANILA - J.P. Morgan & Co.'s Asian securities unit will arrange a $100 million utility loan guaranteed by the Republic of the Philippines, the first internationally syndicated loan since the country began restructuring its debt in 1983.

The loan for National Power Corp. has a five-year maturity, with most of the principal due at the end of the term, and carries a margin of 1.625 percentage point over the six-month London interbank offered rate.

Up-front fees are 62.5 basis points for co-lead managers and 37.5 basis points for managers.

"The pricing reflects tangible improvements in the country's economy," said Thaddeus T. Beczak, president of J.P. Morgan Securities Asia, which is arranging the loan. "It is time for the Philippines to regain access to the bank market on terms that reflect these improvements."

J.P. Morgan was lead manager for the Philippines' debut Eurobond in 1993.

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