Markets seek 'balance' from Duterte on domestic, world affairs


Posted at Sep 09 2016 10:46 AM

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte attends the ASEAN-China Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 7, 2016. Soe Zeya Tun, Reuters

MANILA - Investors are watching if President Rodrigo Duterte can strike a balance between running the country and maintaining a good standing in the international community, an investment adviser said Friday.

While Duterte’s diplomatic tiff with US President Barack Obama added to negative sentiment in the financial markets, it was not the main driver for foreign fund outflows as businessmen tracked global interest rates, Crown Asia Chemicals Director Bede Gomez said. [GLOBAL INTEREST RATES Http://]

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index was down 0.13 percent to 7,653.86 in early training on Friday. The peso opened weaker at P47 to the dollar from the previous day’s close of P46.89.

“From the governance or from the political point of view, foreign investors would like to see if the government can strike a balance between domestic housekeeping and international relations with other countries,” Gomez told ANC’s “Market Edge with Cathy Yang.”

“The government has been very firm on their objective of eradicating drugs, crime. The manner of how it’s being done is of course watched by the international community. Definitely it is an issue that is on the minds of the investors,” he said.

Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian leaders’ summit in Laos this week after the Filipino leader criticized him in a curse-filled rant. Duterte said Obama had no right to question his bloody war on drugs.

At an ASEAN-US meeting on Thursday, Duterte showed pictures of Filipinos killed by American soldiers during the US occupation, shocking the audience which included Obama and Southeast Asian leaders.

Before his spat with Obama, Duterte threatened to leave the United Nations after two of its human rights investigators raised alarm over the hundreds of deaths linked to his drug war. He later said it was a joke.