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MORE RECORD HIGHS TO COME The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed to a record high on the first trading day of 2018 closing at 8,724.13, up by 165.71 points or 1.9 percent. The PSE marked the first trading day of the year with a special bell ringing ceremony at the Ayala and Tektite Trading Floors. From left are Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines COO Renee Rubio; PSE Market Operations Division Head Rachelle Blanch; PSE Governance, Risk and Compliance Head J. Argel Astudillo; Alakor Securities Corp Nominee Victor Benavidez; Trans-Asia Securities Inc. Nominee Eugene Ong; Eagle Equities Inc. Nominee Joseph Roxas; PSE Director Wilson Sy; Luys Securities Company Inc. Director Aurora Shih; Bernad Securities Inc. Nominee Elphege Wong; Summit Securities Inc. Nominee Harry Liu; Wong Securities Corp Nominee Eden Wong and H.E. Bennett Securities Inc. Nominee Joel dela Peña.

Index forecast to hit record 9,400 points

By Riza Lozada

Traders expect the stock index to test the 9,400 level this year as a result of a positive economic outlook which will fuel corporate earnings, First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, said.

FMIC is a report projected earnings per share (EPS) growing 10 percent in 2018, and price earnings ratio of 21 times.

“The next thing to watch out for is really your economy, your broad-based growth and corporate earnings… Our outlook is essentially bullish,” said FMIC Vice President Cristina Ulang.

Ulang also expects a revival of the manufacturing sector amounting to about $60 billion worth of income that translates to about 23 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), driving corporate earnings.

Ulang said preferred sectors for 2018 are manufacturing, property, banks, consumer, infrastructure, conglomerates and power/utilities.

After posting losses for two years in a row, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index for the first time closed at a record high on the last trading day of 2017 to 8,558.42 from previous year’s 6,840.64.

This was the 14th time that the main index closed at an all-time high last year.

Meanwhile, capital raising is also expected to accelerate this year by 29 percent to P930 billion in support of the positive economic outlook.

For the equities market, issues from listed companies are estimated to generate 79-percent growth to an all-time high volume of almost P250 billion.

For fixed income issues, private companies will drive the expected 17-percent growth to total volume of almost P690 billion and the biggest issuer, the government, is expected to tap new foreign markets for financing.

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