PH remains in 'sweet spot' of capital markets


Posted at Jun 18 2012 07:27 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2012 06:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Amidst lingering overseas volatility, improving market liquidity, domestic investor participation and resilient local economic fundamentals, the Philippines remains to be in a so-called "sweet spot" of the capital markets.

“We should all look at today's scenario as very positive for the Philippines.The Philippines is back on the radar that wasn't the case a few years ago,” said Sanjiv Vohra, Citi Philippines chief executive officer.

Vohra, together with other financial market experts were resource persons at the Philippine Financial Market Forum organized by The Asset and the Financial Executives of the Philippines.

But while the Philippines is pretty much in a "sweet spot", Vohra however stressed investors were looking for companies that reflected the strong outlook on the Philippine economy.

Examples of these were the conglomerates, banks and to a certain extent, real estate firms that give exposure to the robust business process outsourcing (BPO) and retail businesses.

Vohra added the Philippines must address issues on foreign ownership restrictions as well as protection of minority rights.

Citi, which is commemorating its 200th year this month, is one of those firms bullish on the growth of the Philippine economy.

More than a century ago, when it was looking to expand in Asia, the Philippines was one of the first markets where it invested. It also made many firsts in banking in the country such as financing the Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company now known as MERALCO for the electric railway system and the first bank to reopen in Manila after World War II. It was also the first to set up a 24-hour phone banking and the first ever call center facility built in the Philippines.