Stocks hit new record


Despite slump in gaming issues

The Philippine Stock Exchange index hit a new high of 7,782.57 points, up 0.70 percent or 54.39 points from Friday’s close of 7,728. 18. In the year-to-date, the PSEi has expanded by 7.6 percent or 552 points. The All Shares index added 0.32 percent or 14.49 points to 4,511.23.

This year’s rally is sustained by investor optimism on corporate earnings and expectations that the Monetary Board will keep key interest rates unchanged.

“Investor confidence in our local market remains strong as shown by the continuous market rally despite the downward trend in the region. We hope that the new levels reached would become the springboard for a more resilient market even as global uncertainties persist,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.

Luis Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital Development Corp., said that the earnings season is keeping investors happy.

“ URC’s [Universal Robina Corp] stellar earnings report, and its declaration of a cash dividend today has buoyed the market. It is settting up the climate. The Japan market also rallied on weaker yen,” Limlingan said.

He said the PSEi hit a record high despite the declines of gaming stocks Melco Crown (Philippine) Resorts Corp., Bloomberry Resorts Corp., and Premium Leisure Corp. (PLC) due to the Chinese government setting an all -out war to the global gaming industry.

“Gaming stocks are hurt. China is starting to clamp down on citizens going to casinos in neighboring countries. Solaire [Resorts and Casino of Bloomberry] gets about two-thirds of its VIPs from China. It is also building a new casino complex in South Korea. The clamp down will affect about 50 percent of their revenues,” Limlingan said.

“The timing is worst, given that a new player opened recently [PLC and Melco Crown’s City of Dreams Manila]. Unless these gaming companies do something, their stocks are seen to be largely affected by this,” he added.

Melco Crown’s stocks went down by 10.19 percent, while equities of Bloomberry and PLC declined by 11.64 percent and 8.24 percent, respectively.

For the next few days, Limlingan is seeing that the market is undergoing a short-time consolidation before the Thursday BSP policy meeting. But prospects for the local market is still bright on the expected good results of corporate earnings.

Services and mining and oil indices were the only losers among the other subindices that gained, shedding 18.34 points and 91.03 points, respectively.

Other than the losing Melco Crown, Bloomberry and PLC, actively traded companies included DMCI Holdings Inc and First Gen Corp ended flat, while URC, BDO Unibank Inc., SM Investments Corp., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and GT Capital Holdings Inc were gainers.

Shares traded totaled to 3.28 billion, valued at P9.57 billion. Decliners were more than advancers, 123 to 60, while the unchanged was at 41.

On Friday, the benchmark stock index was up 0.70 percent or 53.94 points to 7,728.18, while the wider All Shares index likewise went up by 0.58 percent or 25.75 points to 4,496.74.


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