Thursday, March 28, 2013

Upgrade of Philippines' sovereign ratings to investment grade status

The local stock market rallied to a new record high on Wednesday
following Fitch Ratings upgrade of the Philippines' sovereign ratings
to investment grade status.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained remarkable
182.35 points or 2.74 percent to close at 6,847.47 from Tuesday's
6,665.12 finish. This is the main index 24th record close for this

The broader All Shares index followed the same fate, advancing 70.60
points or 1.70 percent to 4,234.31.

"We are now officially an investment grade country with this upgrade
by the Fitch Ratings agency and this is an achievement that we all
should be proud of. We have been talking about this in the past 12
months and we think it is well deserved," PSE President and Chief
Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.

"Hopefully, the other rating agencies will follow suit so we can start
seeing more investors participate in the growth of our listed
companies and the economy," he said.

Jonathan L. Ravelas, Banco de Oro chief market strategist, said the
credit rating upgrade crystallizes the positive developments in the
country from government to financial markets.

"This could further bring more foreign investors to the country," he said.

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday declared the Philippines "Investment
Grade," the first-ever such rating achieved by the country from a
major western credit rating agency.

The upgrade of Philippines' sovereign ratings took into account the
country's strong sovereign external balance sheet, a persistent
current account surplus underpinned by remittance inflows and robust
economy that grew 6.6 percent last year, among others.

In Wednesday trading, almost all counters rose significantly, with the
market rally led mainly by property stocks that advanced 3.88 percent
or 105.83 points, services by 2.41 percent or 47.45 points and
industrial by 2.28 percent or 229.24 points.

The sub-indices of holding firms also rose by 2.17 percent or 126.37
points while financials by 1.73 percent or 30.32 points.

Only the mining and oil sector declined moderately.

Volume of trade reached 2.29 billion shares worth P12.92 billion.

Advancers won over decliners, 110 to 44, while 35 issues were unchanged.

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