PH Financial markets shut down for second day

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AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Philippine financial markets were suspended for the second straight session on Tuesday as incessant rains continued to flood many parts of the National Capital Region and Luzon.

The Philippine Stock Exchange had initially issued an advisory at 5:40 a.m. that trading would resume but this was recalled by 7:40 a.m. after the government suspended work, thereby halting clearing and settlement operations at the banking system.

Foreign exchange and bond trading was also suspended by the Bankers Association of the Philippines, citing lack of check clearing for the day, said BAP first vice president and open market committee chair Antonio Moncupa Jr., who is also president of East West Bank.

Tuesday’s suspension puts the local financial markets to a halt for three days this week as tomorrow is an official non-working holiday in celebration of Benigno ”Ninoy” Aquino Jr. day. On the other hand, the trading suspension has allowed local markets to avoid the heavy beating taken by regional markets in the last two days as investors continued to favor developed markets at the expense of emerging markets.

Investment Credit Agricule CIB said emerging markets, especially Indonesian and Indian assets, would remain under pressure ahead of the release of the US Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes.

Some banks immediately suspended work on Tuesday while others decided to open some branches ahead of Wednesday’s holiday. Bank of the Philippine Islands, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Security Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines, China Bank, Veterans Bank and East West Bank opened for branches in areas that were not affected by floods.

Philippine Savings Bank said all affected Metro Manila branches were closed but all others were open to serve clients. RCBC and Landbank announced selected branches were open for business until 12 noon.

On the other hand, Banco de Oro Unibank, United Coconut Planters Bank, Citibank, HSBC, Philippine National Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines, Asia United Bank suspended operations in the metropolis.

Some head offices opened with skeletal team.

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