PSE index may break 6,000 level in 2012 – Aquino
As the benchmark index of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) continued to break record highs for the past consecutive days, the 6,000 mark does not seem too ambitious anymore for some officials


SELLING PHILIPPINES. President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) 20th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City on Monday December 03, 2012. He said he's the country's main salesman when it comes to inviting foreign investors. Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – As the benchmark index of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) continued to break record highs for the past consecutive days, the 6,000 mark does not seem too ambitious anymore for some officials.

At the December 3 anniversary dinner of PSE attended by PSE officials and President Benigno Aquino III, the mood was positive about hitting the next major milestone.

The PSE index (PSEi) may reach 6,000 points “sooner rather than later,” PSE Chairman Jose Pardo told Aquino who keynoted the event.

When it was his turn to deliver his speech, Aquino, who was reading a prepared speech, was just supposed to say this: “”The way things are going now, there is no reason not to believe that the stock exchange will continue to perform well, and that we will be able to realize our dream of breaking the 6,000 index.”

But he ad-libbed and said: “It is possible that the PSEi may break the 6,000 level within the next 28 days as projected by Mr. Eusebio Tanco (PSE official).”

The 28th day is on December 31, the last day of 2012, hinting that the index, an indicator of investor confidence in the country, may meet the ambitious target sooner than most analysts’ projection that this feat may happen in 2013.

Aquino and PSE’s Pardo were both making reference to the 6,000 index level that Aquino challenged the local trading participants to hit. Only last March, Aquino rang the bell at the PSE trading floor to mark celebrations after the PSEi hit 5,000, then the all-time high.

Pardo noted, “Our Stock Market has been recognized as the single best performing Stock Exchange in the World.”

On December 3, the PSEi closed at 5,672.70, bringing the count of record-breaking hits this 2012 to 33. By mid-trade on December 4, the index is a few points below 5,700.

Pardo described Aquino’s desire to see the index breach the 6,000 mark as “ambitious,” but added that “the difficult takes a while and the impossible, just a little bit longer.”

Not yet done

Aquino, however, said that hitting the 6,000 level is just one of the many goals toward a sustainable performance.

“The record highs, increase in equities, and outstanding GDP growth are symbols of the potential we have to create a broader and more dynamic Philippine economy.”

“The entire world has begun to train their spotlight on us. Let us prove to them: we are not yet done, we have more to show, and we will build even greater things on top of the foundations we have already laid down. It is up to all of us to harness our potential and steer the economy towards inclusive growth that satisfies the pursuit of profit, promotes equal opportunity, and elevates the standard of living of every Filipino,” he told the audience full of Manila’s who’s who in business and government.

Acknowledging that those in the audience control most of the key industries that contribute to the local economy’s fate, he urged them further to pursue reforms and follow his administration’s governance theme of a “straight path.”

“More than anyone, you understand the need to be forward-looking—that everything we do today must be calculated and measured if we are to reap benefits in the future. Investors, after all, are prospective. So, while you know that each all-time high signifies the continued confidence of investors, you also understand that, in order to sustain their confidence, we must bolster it with concrete action.

“There is no better way to do this than to show prospective and active investors alike that the Philippines is open for business under new management: management that is putting an end to backroom deals and suspect transactions, so that business, trade, and investment can flourish in an honest and level playing field,” he said.

Among those in the audience were businessmen Manuel V. Pangilinan and Ramon Ang, as well as Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares. –

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