PH stocks sustain climb, ignore US, Europe losses

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Philippine shares rose on Tuesday on the strength of sustained investor interest the past two days, with most investors ignoring the correction seen in major markets across the globe.
Closing higher for a third straight session, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) settled at 6,793.07, adding 31.08 points or 0.46 percent. The wider all shares also went up by 16.51 points or 0.41 percent to 4,073.94.

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“A minimal retreat in US and European stocks and the potential inflationary pressures arising from tensions in Iraq failed to dampen the spirits of investors at the local bourse,” said Justino Calaycay, analyst at Accord Capital Equities Corp.

Within the region, Asian markets also overcame a listless start, leaving only the Australian and New Zealand bourses in the red.

Except for two sectors, the rest of the sectoral indexes finished higher led by holding firms, which gained 63.89 points or 1.04 percent to 6,213.89, and financials, up by 6.80 points or 0.42 percent to 1,609.99. Industrial firms gained 22.06 points or 0.21 percent to 10,399.35, while property added 3.67 points or 0.14 percent to 2,621.07.

The mining and oil sector was lower while the services sub-index was flat. Mining and oil lost 53.19 points or 0.33 percent to close at 16,189.94, while services inched down 0.01 points to 1,994.85.

Market participation also thinned with only 967 million shares worth P7.7 billion traded. Advancers were still ahead of decliners, 110 to 69, while 45 issues were unchanged.

Some of the most actively traded stocks were SM Investments Corp., up 2.38 percent at P818; Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., up 0.29 percent at P86.95; and Alliance Global Group Inc., up 0.87 percent at P28.90.

The shares of television network GMA Network Inc. (GMA7) hit an intraday high of P8.41 on Tuesday, eventually settling at P7.65 apiece toward the end of trade, up 3.24 percent from its previous closing price of P7.41.

GMA 7’s share price surged after the network announced that its controlling shareholders have agreed to sell a minority stake of the company to the president of San Miguel Corp.

Calaycay said the news excited investors because “the network has been in and out of the acquisition news cycle in the last two years.”

Meanwhile, oil exploration firm Frontier Oil Corp. (FOC) has officially withdrawn its plan to make an initial public offering (IPO) on the PSE, which was supposed to be conducted earlier this year, confirming plans to list on another bourse instead.

In a memorandum, FOC advised the exchange that it was now focused on exploring an alternative listing possibility on another global stock exchange.

“We wish to express our sincerest gratitude to the Exchange for all its support,”
Kristoffer Fellowes, Frontier Oil chief executive officer, said in a letter to PSE president and chief executive officer Hans Sicat.

However, another company is set to make its own IPO later this month. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved the P2.66-billion IPO of Phoenix Semiconductor Philippines Corp., with the maximum offer price pegged at P3.79 per share.

Madelaine B. Miraflor

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