Financial sector expects 2017 to be a challenging year


Financial investors in the Philippines may be faced by turbulent times as the new year enters.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) appeared headed for another shaky start, reminiscent of  the turmoil that greeted global markets at the beginning of 2016.  However, stocks made a rebound before the session closed in step with other Asian markets.

Volume of trading was light at P2.68 billion compared to last year’s daily average of P7.81 billion.

“The year ahead could once again be challenging,” PSE Chairman Jose T. Pardo said .  ‘However, I believe that challenges offer us opportunities. Challenges hone our skills, develop our character and allow us to appreciate the things we have.”

PSE Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran, concurs, saying:  “Resiliency is the story of the economy and our stock market.”

Meanwhile,  by end year, at the Philippine Dealing System, the peso ended P49.775 against the US dollar,  five-and-a-half centavos weaker than the local currency’s Dec. 29 finish of P49.72-a-dollar.

A trader explained that the depreciation of the peso may be due to expectations of stronger US growth this year.

The volatility experienced last year may spill over to this year, Refran said.  He expressed optimism, however, that this can be overcome.

The country’s solid fundamentals — such as young demographics, steady remittances from overseas Filipinos and the robust outsourcing sector — “will keep us afloat,” he said.

“This may be a challenging year for most markets, but when you look at the price, ang ganda ng proposition (is attractive) not just for investors but (also) for companies who want to go public.”