2016 polls seen to rattle markets
Financial markets may see more intense turmoil in the coming months amid the lack of a clear frontrunner to succeed President Aquino in 2016.
With three candidates in a statistical tie in the latest polls, with a fourth still mulling over a run, investors may turn skittish, fearful of a possible reversal of reforms by the current administration.
“Political developments would increasingly have greater impact on the currency market if surveys show a very tight race,” ING Bank said in a note this week.
“Surveys have pointed to a tight presidential race among market friendly and less market friendly candidates,” the bank said. ING did not say whom among the candidates investors would welcome.
Amid the tight race, ING said all current presidential aspirants faced issues that could hamper their campaigns.
Front-runner Sen. Grace Poe has to deal with her citizenship problem while Vice President Binay is hobbled by allegations of corruption as Mayor of Makati and President of the Boy Scout of the Philippines. Administration standard-bearer and former local government secretary Mar Roxas “has to deal with his image of not being close to the masses,” ING pointed out.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is still reconsidering a previous decision to enter the race.
In terms of policy direction, ING said President Aquino’s successor would do well to stay on the current track.
“All the candidates have no choice but to continue with infrastructure and social spending, in our view,” ING said. Fitch Ratings last week warned that a reversal of reforms could mean a reversal of credit ratings.
ING said governance and effective execution of programs were likely the crucial considerations for the electorate.
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