Excitement in PSE trades hikes Jan-Mar activity by 54.5%

Net foreign buying reached P19.35 billion, nearly 4x higher than last year's, while PSE index surged 16.8%, the highest quarterly gain since 2010

BULLISH. Traders celebrate during a ceremony marking the record high of 5,000 points reached last week at the Philippine Stock Exchange on March 6, 2012. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index’s 13 new record highs in the first quarter was the tip of the iceberg.

During the period, trading activity surged 54.5%, bringing total value turnover to P502 billion from P325.02 billion registered in the same period the previous year.

This was anchored on strong net foreign buying in the amount of P19.35 billion, nearly 4x higher than the net selling figure of P4.94 billion in the same period in 2011.

The PSE index surged 16.8% to 5,107.73 at end-March the highest quarterly gain of the index since the 3rd quarter of 2010.

This was fueled by upbeat prospects of listed companies, optimism over the local economy, and signs of recovery in key trading markets like the United States and Europe.

Average daily value turnover stood at P7.85 billion, an increase of 54.5%.

The PSE index’s finish in the 1st quarter was higher by 1,052.59 points from its previous close of 4,055.14 in the same period.

The PSEi closed at a fresh all-time high last March 16 at 5,145.89, having already rewritten record highs 13 times in the January to March period alone.

“The PSEi’s journey to uncharted territories in the first quarter underpins investor confidence on Philippine corporates and the promise of our country’s growing economy,” said Hans Sicat, PSE president and chief executive officer.

“Even as the execution and attainment of higher goals are ongoing, our investors have given their affirmation that Philippines, Inc. is indeed headed towards the right direction,” Sicat added.

Market capitalization

The local stock market recorded its highest market capitalization closing level at end-March.  

Listed firms had a combined market capitalization of P9.81 trillion during the 1st quarter, up 9.8% from the previous P8.93 trillion in the first quarter of 2011.

Financials index emerged as the best performer among the sectoral indices, surging 30.4% in the 1st quarter.

The property index realized a 27% increase, while the holding firms index posted a 21.1% increase. The mining & oil and industrial indices climbed 10.5% each while the services index went up 8.4%.

The PSE extended its trading hours to 1 p.m. in October 2011 as part of its efforts to increase liquidity in the market. At the start of the year, trading hours were further extended up to 3:30 p.m.

The excitement in the equities market has been luring more investors than safer but lower-yielding bonds. – Rappler.com

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