UBS picks PH, Thailand, S'pore as top capital marts

By Ted P. Torres, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 05 2012 07:59 AM | Updated as of Dec 05 2012 07:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Swiss banking group UBS has picked the Philippines, along with Thailand and Singapore, as its top markets for fund investments in Asean.

“We consider the capital markets of Thailand, Singapore and Philippines as our top favorites for the moment due to their strong cyclical improvements of these economies on a strategic perspective,” Edward Teather, UBS senior Asean economist, said yesterday.

“Our outlook is still positive for the Philippines. We see overall investments to pick up, positive credit growth, exports, current account surplus, fiscal impulse on the positive or aggressive side, and we view positively the government reform efforts such as the fight against corruption, addressing the sin tax issue, improving peace conditions in Southern Philippines, and stronger infrastructure spending,” he added.

UBS had forecast Philippine economic growth at 5.8 percent this year, lower than the government’s six to seven percent target. Next year, it sees growth moderating at 4.5 percent.

Teather explained that their forecast was lower than the government target as external pressures will continue to weigh on domestic growth.

While the Philippines is not an export-driven economy, a weak global economy and a strong peso will nonetheless impact on import costs and export gains.