PSE asks govt to open trading for 2 days of the APEC week

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The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. (PSE) is appealing for the government to allow stock trading as usual for two days of the declared four-day suspension of financial and clearing settlement operations during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Manila.

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Specifically, the PSE is asking the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to allow financial clearing and settlement available to the public on November 17 and 20.

Through Proclamation No. 1072 released last July, Malacanang mandated a four-day special non-working holiday in the National Capital Region (NCR) from November 17 to 20, in observance of the APEC meetings to be held in Metro Manila.

The suspension of government work in NCR includes suspension of operations in the Philippine Payments and Settlements System (PhilPaSS) of the BSP, which settles transactions of financial institutions.

Normal check clearing operations in the Philippine Clearing House Corporation are also dependent on the PhilPaSS being available.

“The Philippines is referred to as the bright spot in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and the country is at the center of economic activity in the region,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.  “I think stakeholders, including the investing public, fund managers, even the banks, would greatly appreciate it if the markets are not closed for four straight days,”

The Philippines is hosting a series of APEC meetings this year—Cebu and Iloilo earlier, and now in Manila, where economic leaders across Asia-Pacific will convene to talk about policy reforms and issues in the region.

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