Stocks rebounded Friday, closing near a record-high level, after Philippine Stock Exchange president Hans Sicat said the local bourse has more room for growth.
Reports that remittances from Filipinos working overseas grew 6.3 percent to $21.4 billion in 2012 also boosted the market, especially the shares of banks and property companies.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, gained 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 6,521.64 on Friday. Value turnover amounted to P9.4 billion.
The heavier index, representing all shares, advanced 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at a record 4,101.44, as gainers edged losers, 90 to 84, with 39 issues unchanged.
SM Development Corp., the real estate arm of the SM Group, jumped 8 percent to P7.96 to emerge as the biggest gainer among the 20 most active stocks. Its parent company, SM Investments Corp., dropped 1 percent to P987.
BDO Unibank Inc., the banking unit of the SM Group, gained 0.7 percent to P86.10.
GT Capital Holdings Inc. of taipan George Ty rose 4.5 percent to P750 while banking unit, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. increased 0.5 percent to P112.50.
D&L Industries Inc., a manufacturer of food ingredients, climbed 4.4 percent to P6.45. Ayala Corp., one of the biggest conglomerates, added 2.4 percent to P580. Developer Megaworld Corp. rose 3.7 percent to P3.68.
Sicat said Philippine stocks, the most expensive in Asia after Japan, have “some room” to post further gains. The PSEi rallied 43 percent in US dollar terms in the past year, the fifth-best performer among 94 global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg.
“If you take a look at a lot of the various analysts’ reports, it has some room to go up,” Sicat said in an interview in Tokyo. “As long as the fundamentals that we talked about are there, then there is probably room for upward valuation.”
The rally pushed valuations for the benchmark index to 18.7 times estimated earnings this year, the highest in the region after Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average, which trades at 21.6 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, disappointing news about Germany’s economy sent Asian stock markets down Friday.
Europe’s biggest economy contracted a worse-than-expected 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012 as recession deepened across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. It was Germany’s worst performance since early 2009, amid a global recession.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.9 percent to 11,088.23. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2 percent to 23,379.18. South Korea’s Kospi was nearly unchanged at 1,979.78. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was slightly down at 5,035.20. Benchmarks in Singapore and New Zealand also fell. Mainland China and Taiwan were closed for Lunar New Year holidays.
Jackson Wong, vice president at Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong, said the Hang Seng was pausing before markets on mainland China reopen Monday after a weeklong Chinese New Year holiday.
“Analysts are expecting a decent gain on the first day,” he said, referring to mainland Chinese stocks. “I do expect a gain but not a huge gain. Chinese markets have been moving up steadily like the Hong Kong market. I believe they will continue this trend.” With Bloomberg, AP
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