• Blue chip firms more bullish amid equities volatility


    Amid existing market volatility, listed blue chip companies have become even more bullish due to the opportunities from the current economic environment, albeit unsteady, could bring.

    In a forum hosted by Economic Journalist Association of the Philippines and ING Bank held on Wednesday, officials of three of the biggest companies in the country expressed optimism toward the market situation, despite the correction it is currently experiencing.

    “This correction is good so that we can avoid bigger problem,” said Jose Sio, SM Investments Corp. chief financial officer, adding that it is better for the market to have the correction now than later.

    According to Ysmael Baysa, Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) chief financial officer, while geopolitical issues are real concerns in the market, investors have to think for the long term.

    “It’s during volatilities that traders make a lot of money. When others go away, we can get in,” he said.

    “What we have today is opportunity for investments, but the prospects of the future is no longer the same as we have in the past. This is a good time for investment but we have to be very selective,” Baysa added.

    Expansion amid volatility
    “When things get worse, if you prepare yourself, it is time for you to invest,” Sio said, adding that SMIC has capitalized on the expansion of its three core businesses—shopping malls, retail and property group.

    Sio also said that the group is expanding its presence in Mindanao and the Visayas.

    Meanwhile, JFC intends to open more stores in 2014 as it remains bullish toward the economy as well as toward the market.

    “Volatility did not necessarily change our long-term strategy and plans. Numbers in our capital expenditure haven’t changed despite volatility,” Baysa said.

    “This year, we planned to open a hundred new stores in the country and a hundred new stores in other countries. Next year, we will open 10 percent more of that plan. That also includes store innovations,” he added.

    For his part, Eric Francia, Ayala Corp. managing director, said that the Ayala Group will continue to roll out more investments, especially in its telecommunication unit as well as in its water infrastructure business.

    “We expect to sustain same level of capital investment,” Francia said.


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