Filipino stocks rally on strong demand for local equities

MANILA —The ruling administration’s anti-corruption battle cry is indeed working, as it has prompted the local stock market to rally into record highs.

Yesterday, for instance, marked the 14th record breakout of the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) for the year and 75th under the term of President Benigno Aquino III.

Breaking the 6,400-mark for the first time, as investors bought shares due to rosy outlook for the year, the PSEi shot up 1.86 percent or 117.37 points to close at 6,435.98 while intraday peak reached 6,449.44.

“Demand for local equities is very strong,” said the chief of a leading foreign brokerage, who was quoted as saying Monday afternoon by the online version of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The report also quoted fund managers as saying that the market was awash with money, owing to record low interest rates that have prompted a number of investors, including first-time institutional and retail investors, to pour their money into equities.

While all indexes jumped, it was the holding counter that gained the highest at 2.57 percent, prompting market insiders to announce that conglomerates represent a growing economy.

This also comes after Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co Ltd announced over the weekend of its intention to invest 73.2 billion pesos (Dh6.62bn) in the Philippines this year, in order to bankroll the expansion of its infrastructure and telecommunications business here.

Through its Philippine-based unit Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), First Pacific seeks to boost its capital expenditures in Maynilad Water Services, Inc., Manila Electric Co (widely known as Meralco), Metro Pacific Tollways Corp, Manila North Tollways Corp, and the MPIC Hospitals Group.

Monday’s value turnover at the stock market reached 11.18 billion pesos (Dh1bn), with 130 advancers drowning 50 decliners.

Investors snapped up shares in PLDT, or the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co, BDO (rebranded from Banco de Oro), Ayala Corp, San Miguel Corp, Petron, and Metrobank, among other listed companies.

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