If the country is to sustain its position as one of Southeast Asia’s rising markets, it should enjoy political continuity into 2022. This implies electing a leader who can build on the achievements of the current administration in 2016.
This is the highlight of the findings of “Make or Break,” a research paper issued last October 7 by CLSA Asia-Pacific, an international investment house.
The paper cited the “commendable” moves made by the Aquino administration, which, brought “some semblance of normalcy and has been relatively scandal-free, with medium-term programs.” It should, however, step up the bar by expediting the privatization process through the PPP program and by resolving the pork barrel issue during the final years of the regime.
The next generation of leaders needs to maintain the reform and restructuring programs. “A strong leader with a sense of urgency who gets the job done and is nimble and adept politically is key to a sustained market re-rating.
Re-rating refers to a change in view on stock valuations.
The CLSA report analyzed the prospects of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the only known presidential candidate so far, for bringing in the political continuity needed.
CLSA noted the good track record Binay enjoys as Makati mayor, even as he is beleaguered with charges of corruption and ill-gotten wealth.
“Makati’s poor, who Binay strongly identifies with, do benefit as they enjoy the fruits of the city’s success through educational scholarships and free healthcare. Applying the same tactic nationwide may lead to lower poverty levels, further narrowing the rich-poor gap and fueling expansion of the middle class,” the paper said.
“Having been born poor himself and orphaned early in life, he has a soft spot for the underdog. For him, the country comes first and his programs are aimed at benefiting the majority rather than the few—hopefully including his friends who have remained loyal.”
Whether Binay, once elected president, will remain steadfast in lifting up the country or succumb to the allure of power, however, remains to be seen, the analysis on Binay concluded.
With political continuity, the sectors likely to post double-digit compounded annual earnings growth from now to 2022 included consumer, retail, smaller property companies, infrastructure and media.
“If more PPP projects are awarded to the private sector—especially under the next administration—there is an upside to listed infrastructure plays. More infrastructure projects will mean more job creation and higher consumption, ” the report said.
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