PSEi extends gains for 3rd day on bargain-hunting

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The bellwether stock index continued its winning streak for a third day, posting modest gains on the back of bargain-hunting interest and with Wall Street’s record close overnight providing further support.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 45.94 points or 0.64 percent to 7,275.66, while the wider All Shares index added 21.11 points or 0.50 percent to 4,276.05.

Optimism ahead of the third quarter GDP release on November 27 and expectations for a market uptrend toward the yearend also buoyed sentiment.

Joseph Roxas, Eagle Equities Inc. president, said in a phone interview that the market was “mostly sideways” while investors were “paying more attention on second liners” such as Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc. (Seacem) and newly listed luxury retailer SSI Group Inc.

Seacem was actively traded during Tuesday’s session with a 13-percent advance, gaining 29 centavos to P2.50 apiece, while SSI Group was also actively supported, gaining 2.35 percent or 20 centavos to P8.71 per share.

Roxas said that more investors were interested in Seacem as it nears its backdoor listing, allowing nickel ore exploration firm Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC) to enter the company.

“It’s a backdoor listing. Recently there has been a lot of volume in Seacem. People are speculating when that would materialize. They are excited about the developments,” Roxas said.

After the backdoor listing, Seacem-PGMC will change its corporate name to Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. The company plans to conduct a P10 billion follow-on offering in April next year to fund expansion plans.

Earlier, Seacem chairman Raul M. Ang said that while PGMC is the second largest nickel ore producer in terms of volume next to Nickel Asia Corp., it “aims to be number one in the next few years.”

Roxas said investors were upbeat on SSI Group because they see the company eventually going head to head or catching up with Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. in terms of volume.

“SSI Group is a consumer play. Before, it was compared with Robinsons Retail. And now, with the bright prospects for the company, investors are speculating that SSI Group will catch up with Robinsons Retail,” he said.

Roxas said there was nothing specific driving the benchmark index on Tuesday. “No new catalysts, only bargain hunting,” he added.

Jason Escartin, investment analyst at F. Yap Securities Inc., said “sustained foreign buying buoyed sentiment despite the regional pullback owing to Japan’s third quarter GDP.”

“Part of the momentum might ride on liberalized bank ownership, plus a nascent push to reform the mining sector’s tax scheme,” Escartin said.
Only industrials ended in the red among the sectors, down 5.80 points or 0.05 percent at 11,700.36.

The rest were advancers led by holding firms, up 65 points or 1.04 percent at 6,339.66, while financials were up 7.61 points or 0.45 percent at 1,716.31.

Services improved 6.15 points or 0.29 percent to 2,140.69, mining and oil climbed 85.96 points or 0.56 percent to 15,490.52, and property rose 19.35 points or 0.67 percent to 2,893.01.

Besides Seacem and SSI Group stocks, active gainers also included PLDT, up 0.07 percent or P2 at P2,994 apiece; BDO Unibank Inc., up 1.13 percent or P1.20 at P107.20; and Megaworld Corp., up 2.69 percent or 13 centavos at P4.97 each.

Among the actively traded issues, Energy Development Corp. ended flat while the rest were losers, including Alliance Global Group Inc (-2.69 percent or 65 cents at P23.55), First Gen Corp. (-2.05 percent or 5 cents at P26.25), Jollibee Foods Corp. (-0.36 percent or 70 cents at P196.30), and Bloomberry Resorts Corp. (0.29 percent or 4 cents at P13.54).

Shares traded totaled 2.26 billion valued at P8 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 88 to 78, while 53 shares were unchanged.

On Monday, the benchmark stock index was up12.38 points or 0.17 percent at 7,229.72, while the All Shares index added 8.98 points or 0.21 percent to 4,254.94.

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