MANILA, Philippines – Foreign businessmen, bankers, fund managers are quietly making their way into the Philippines, swelling attendance in business events in Manila and dollar inflows into local capital markets.
Some were at the Philippine Yearend Economic Briefing on February 13, where over 1,500 filled the room at a bi-annual event attended by up to 800 only in the past. They flew from all over the world to attend the Philippine Investment Summit on January 30, making a standard business event standing-room-only.
They are making a vote of confidence on the Philippines not just with their presence but with their pockets. The peso has kept on strengthening against the dollar, while the Philippine Stock Exchange is on a roll breaking record highs. All these even before Standard & Poors, Moody’s and Fitch rank the Philippines among the A-lister countries with an investment grade.
Fund manager Simon Bailey explains why: If the different countries in the world are having a party, the Philippines is the most attractive one in the room.
“The Philippines is in a very unique and beautiful place…If you go out and there are all bunch of guys in a party, you go for the most attractive one. If the others in that party are ruined — Greece, for example — the Philippines is the most attractive one in that investment party. In a world where it is difficult to make money investing, suddenly Philippines becomes the best looking in the investment party. That’s why people are here,” he said.
More in the video report below.