Philippines prices investors out of market

Featured - July 20th, 2012
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The sharp rise in the stock markets of one of Asia’s top performers may just turn away investors. The Philippines PSE Composite rose almost 19%, making the market pricey according to investors, Wall Street Journal reports.

Asia Pacific equity strategist at HSBC, Herald van der Linde, told the Journal, “There are a lot of things that we like in the Philippines, except one thing: It is the most expensive market in the region”. Investors are flocking towards the Philippines due in part to President Benigno Aquino III’s initiatives to battle corruption, reign in budget deficit, boost spending on infrastructures through private partners. The government received credit-rating upgrades: Standard & Poor raised it from BB+ to BB, which allows global pension funds and other large investors to buy the country’s debt.

However, the Philippine market is beginning to show its flaws. According to the Journal, the PSE Index fell 3.4% to 31.18 points on Thursday. Thailand and Vietnam are catching up, climbing 18% and 22% respectively. The Philippine peso, Asia’s best-performing currency at 4.6% against the US dollar this year, has also weakened. Some investors are also concerned of Southeast Asia’s history of political instability. Others fear that the Philippines could have the same fate as Indonesia where they are seeking to pullout $2 billion after the economy cooled down.