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Local bourse down on POGO ban call

Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) possibly withdrawing their real estate investments in the country following China’s call to ban their operations here dragged the stock market on Thursday.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.48 percent or 38.08 points to close at 7,848.83 while the wider All Shares dropped by 0.54 percent or 25.93 points to end at 4,757.15.

“Philippines shares were sold down heavily, with fear that the lucrative POGO clients of property developers would potentially pull out,” Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said.

Recently, China urged the Philippines to ban all the online gambling operations, backing the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp.’s move to impose a moratorium on issuing POGO licenses.

The moratorium began last week and will last until the end of the year.

POGO firms had been in hot water due to reports claiming that the industry employs undocumented Chinese workers. This resulted to government requiring foreign workers to secure tax identification numbers when applying for special work permits, alien employment permits or provisional work permits.

“The main index ended lower today due to the massive losses in the property sector which dragged the whole market lower,” AAA Equities head of research Christopher Mangun said.

Mangun said “investors continue to focus on second-liners with several companies hitting its ceiling price,” adding that the local bourse could possibly end the week on a higher note if it would not breach the 7,750 support level.

Papa Securities sales associate Gabriel Jose Perez said the market is seen to continue trading sideways “on a lack of clear immediate catalysts,” pegging the resistance and support level at 8,000 and 7,620 mark respectively.

Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed by 0.93 percent, 0.82 percent and 0.90 percent respectively.

Asian markets ended in the mix. Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore were up by 0.05 percent, 0.11 percent and 0.16 percent respectively.

Hong Kong, Seoul and Thailand, meanwhile, dipped by 0.83 percent, 0.69 percent and 0.22 percent respectively.

In Manila, the property sector had the sharpest drop at 1.78 percent. This was followed by holding firms and services at 0.89 percent and 0.03 percent respectively. The rest ended in the green.

Over 2.1 million shares were traded, amounting to P9.92 billion.

Losers outnumbered winners, 129-75, while 44 issues were unchanged.

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Today’s Front Page December 09, 2019

Today’s Front Page December 09, 2019