PH shares rally on S&P credit rating upgrade

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Philippine shares advanced past the 6,800-psychological mark on Friday, driving the index to its highest level in nearly 11 months, as market players cheered the country’s fresh ratings upgrade from global debt watcher Standard & Poor’s.

On Thursday, the Philippines received an unexpected credit rating upgrade from S&P, which cited the country’s strong external liquidity and effective monetary policy that has sustained low inflation and interest rates.

S&P raised the country’s long-term sovereign credit rating to BBB from BBB- with a stable outlook.

Lexter Azurin, research head at Unicapital Securities Inc., said the market was mainly driven by the S&P upgrade, which boosted investor confidence in the capital market.


“This opened possibilities of further re-rating so it definitely cheered up investors’ mood towards the market,” Azurin said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended Friday’s trade up 82.05 points or 1.21 percent at 6,847, while the broader all shares added 35.77 points or 0.88 percent to 4,116.06.

This was the main index’s highest closing level since June 10 last year, when it closed at 6,875.60.

Except for mining and oil, which shed 23.62 points or 0.14 to end at 16,596.51, the rest of the sectors were buoyant.

Property had the largest gain, rising by 43.61 points or 1.63 percent to 2,722.81, followed by holding firms, which went up 73.10 points or 1.19 percent to 6,204.52.

Financials came in third, up 17.69 points or 1.10 percent to close at 1,624.65, while services improved by 21.75 points or 1.06 percent to 2,080.42. Industrials climbed 86.84 points or 0.85 percent to 10,251.77.

Trading volume significantly improved to 2.1 billion shares valued at P11.9 billion. Advancers beat decliners 116 to 72, with 35 issues unchanged.

Some of the most actively traded stocks on Friday were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., up 2.76 percent at P2,974.00; SM Investments Corp., up 2.82 percent at P765.00; and Ayala Land, Inc., up 3.23 percent at P31.95.

Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director, said news of the ratings upgrade coupled with positive earnings results boosted market participation.

Philippine shares bounced back on Thursday from a two-day correction, after remarks from the US central bank chief lifted sentiment on Wall Street and other global markets. The PSEi rose 16.70 points or 0.25 percent to 6,765.21, while the wider all shares gained 15.06 points or 0.37 percent to 4,080.29.

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