MANILA, Philippines–The local stock index rallied to another historic high breaching the 5,300-mark on Thursday as optimism over first quarter local corporate earnings prevailed over the sluggish regional sentiment.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index surged by 71.57 points or 1.37 percent to 5,300.41.
“Philippine equities continue to surge despite the lackluster performance of Asian markets. Investors remain sold on the country’s growth story and that company earnings will likely come in as expected,” said First Metro Securities president Gonzalo Ordonez.
“Valuations remain expensive but early first quarter results show higher odds of earnings catching up,” Gonzalo added.
All counters contributed to the upswing but the sharpest gains were posted by the holding firm and property counters which respectively jumped by 2.54 percent and 1 percent.
Value turnover amounted to P9 billion. There were 83 advancers which edged out 79 decliners while 42 stocks were unchanged.
The index stocks that gained the most were AGI, PLDT, MPI, Philex, SM Prime, Metrobank, Ayala Corp., BDO, SMIC, JG Summit, ALI and DMCI.
AGI shares were up by about 3 percent. Tycoon Andrew Tan’s holding firm reported that the four real estate brands of its property arm Megaworld Corp.
posted very strong reservation sales amounting to P 16.4 billion for the first quarter, up by 52 percent from a year ago.
Other non-index stocks that gained in heavy volume were Bloomberry, Security Bank and Philex Petroleum.
Fund managers said investors were loading up on local equities with a longer term view especially given rosier expectations for 2013.
It was reported on Thursday that Philippine economic managers were confident that the domestic economy could grow by 5-6 percent this year, faster than the 3.7 percent growth last year.
Trading was meek elsewhere in the region as risk appetite was tempered by concerns in the US and euro-zone economies.