• PH economic prospects remain upbeat – Manulife

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    The Philippine economy is expected to continue growing this year and offer opportunities for investors despite the volatility in global markets and politics, Manulife Philippines said.

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    In a statement on Wednesday, the financial services firm said it expects the Philippine economy to sustain its strong performance from 2016 and keep its upbeat economic momentum this year.

    Manulife Philippines Chief Investment Officer Aira Gaspar expects larger infrastructure spending and co-investing projects with private capital to continue in the country.

    “This will generate positive multiplier effects on employment, manufacturing, retail trade and productivity,” she said.

    Gaspar said the Philippines has sound macroeconomic footing, with its healthy foreign exchange reserves and domestic-driven economy cushioning the country from external headwinds.

    She expects the central bank policy to stay accommodative throughout 2017, given a manageable inflation outlook and the positive economic growth momentum.

    “In addition, our ample domestic liquidity mitigates the risk of an abrupt rise in local government bond yields,” she said.

    Manulife expects remittances from Filipinos working and living abroad and revenues of the business process outsourcing industry to support domestic consumption and domestic liquidity.

    These factors, coupled with supportive structural reforms, would drive stronger corporate earnings and create new catalysts for Philippine equities, Gaspar said.

    Citing the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI) survey, she said 92 percent of investors in the Philippines expect the next six months to be “neutral” to a “good time” to invest in equities.

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