Aquino celebrates PSE's record highs
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III rang the opening bell at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in Makati to celebrate breaking the 5,000 level 2 days in a row.
Aquino was so optimistic that he challenged brokers to reach the 6,000 mark during his visit on March 6, 2012.
PSE Chairman Jose Pardo responded, "The difficult takes awhile, the impossible a little bit longer."
Brokers cheered in response, waiving red "5,000" signs.
The index hit the historic high of 5,030.80 points at the close of trading on Monday, March 5.
In his speech to the crowd, Pardo said that the PSEi's historic rise "marks the 11th time this year and the 19th time under the present administration that the index has set new highs.”
As of March 5 there had been a 65% growth year on year in trading volume, according to PSE President Hans Sicat.
"Having longer hours of trading helps but it's really a confluence of factors that are driving volume," said Sicat.
He added, "Trying to be on the same time zones as some of our neighbors has also helped since capital is global."
Pardo explained that money is coming in from abroad. "Investors who look at China are now fixing their gaze on other developing economies," said Pardo. He added that the Philippines is one country attracting their attention.
Economists have warned about the influx of so-called 'hot money' that can come in quickly from abroad and leave just as fast.
But Sicat points out that as of March 5, locals led activity, with foreigners only responsible for 37.6% of the current 8 billion trading volume.
"Having a strong local bid is the ideal situation" because foreign money can go elsewhere, explained Sicat.
Pardo said he believes Aquino deserves credit for forming "a good team of talented managers for the economy whose credentials for integrity are there. If you ask anybody around you will conclude that this administration is trying to address corruption, which had long been associated with government.
Pardo added, "Nobody will question the agendas of President Aquino's economic team and consequently confidence is there that the playing field will be level."
He noted that, since the President's first day in office, the index climbed 52%. - Rappler.com
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