Market Wrap: PH stocks rally to 9-month high

Philippine stocks jumped back to pre-pandemic levels, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) trimmed key interest rates in an attempt to shore up the economy.

On Friday, November 20, the Philippine Stock Exchange gained 2.5% to 7,169, the highest since February or a month before the nationwide coronavirus lockdowns.

Financials, holding firms, property, and mining sub-indices gained close to 3%.

Twenty-five of the 30 blue chips saw gains, 4 shed value, while 1 stayed flat.

BDO Unibank (5.8%), Bank of the Philippine Islands (-0.7%), and Ayala Corporation (0.6%) were some of the most actively traded stocks on Friday.

“Local shares cross well above 7,100 as investors bought up shares after the surprise cut of the BSP and by hopes that Washington lawmakers still could come together and pass a coronavirus aid relief package to limit the economic damage wrought by the pandemic,” said Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital.

Corporate news

Cebu Air – The budget airline operator is planning to raise $250 million by selling convertible preferred shares through a stock rights offering.

Cebu Air's fundraising comes as it struggles to improve its balance sheet, as the coronavirus pandemic guts its earnings.

"Due to this exceptional change in market conditions and industry dynamics, the Corporation saw the urgent need to fast track its transformation. It is currently implementing a business transformation exercise that involves right-sizing of network and fleet to meet new demand, and improvement of operations efficiency through process and policy enhancements and digitalization, among others," it said.

Holcim – Its board of directors approved the proposed merger of Holcim Philippines Manufacturing Corporation, Mabini Grinding Mill Corporation, and Bulkcem Philippines into Holcim Philippines.

Holcim said the move would streamline the corporate structure of the Holcim Philippines group of companies.

Ayala companies – AC Energy and Infrastructure Corporation (formerly AC Energy) got the green light of the Securities and Exchange Commission for its name change.

The move is in line with the group's consolidation of its energy, water, and infrastructure businesses announced last April. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.