Rumors about a gambling revenue-backed deal soon to be launched by state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. have been floating around for several weeks, following recent statements about such a deal by the Phlipppines' finance secretary, Edgardo Espiritu.

But contrary to many reports, no mandate has been awarded, and the government is still contemplating the feasibility of such an issue, according to bankers throughout Asia. Most recently, Goldman Sachs has been cited as having won the mandate, though that is highly unlikely. "There is no way that Goldman would do a peso-denominated deal. I would be very surprised," commented one banker. Goldman officials as usual declined to comment.

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