PH shares buoyed by talk of Japan tax delay


Philippine equities rose in late Wednesday trade on widespread speculation in the region that Japan would delay a planned sales tax hike.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed 0.39 percent or 28.32 points higher at 7,232.87, while the broader All Shares index gained 0.38 percent or 15.93 points to 4,253.60.

The local market drew strength from regional gains amid talk that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was considering postponing a planned sales-tax increase. Despite a lack of confirmation of such speculation, however, shares on the Tokyo stock exchange hit seven-year highs and fueled market optimism across the region.

Joyce Anne Ramos, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said Philippine shares tracked the gains in Japan and drew further support from the strong market performance of several local property and banking-related firms.

“The market was pulled up by the stocks of Ayala Land, BDO Unibank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, and Robinsons Land. Basically, it is because of the positive sentiment of investors from the delay of Japan’s sales tax increase,” Ramos said.

“Usually if there is an upcoming sales tax, the prices will go up and limit the product purchases of consumers. With the delay talks, sentiments were bright among investors,” she added.

Among the subindices, only the holding firms counter was down, losing 0.23 percent or 14.66 points at 6,329.37.

Ramos said that the holding firms were pulled down by SM Investment Corp., which lost 1.13 percent or P9 to close at P786 on Wednesday. SMIC has a 24.89 percent weight in the sectoral index.

“For the next few days, the market will still be dependent on the upcoming releases of the third-quarter results of companies,” Ramos said.

Apart from holding firms, the rest of the sectoral indices had a positive day: Financials were up 0.59 percent or 9.97 points at 1,700.94; industrials rose 0.50 percent or 58.45 points to 11,674.92; services inched up 0.19 percent or 4.53 points to 2,130.51; mining and oil gained 0.50 percent or 75.29 points to 15,263.16; and property advanced 1.01
percent or 28.79 points to 2,869.69.

Among the 10 most active stocks, PLDT ended flat, while Alliance Global Group Inc. was the sole decliner. Actively traded stocks that gained were Bloomberry Resorts Corp., GT Capital Holdings Inc., Ayala Land Inc., Metrobank, Energy Development Corp., Ayala Corp., Universal Robina Corp., and Robinson Retail Holdings Inc.

Total volume stood at 3.125 billlion shares, valued at P8.119 billion.

Losers outnumbered gainers, 90 to 85, while 41 stocks were unchanged.

On Tuesday, the PSEi increased 0.17 percent or 12.43 points to 7,204.55, while the wider All Shares index inched up 0.08 percent or 3.47 points to 4,237.67.


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