MANILA - Share prices rallied past the 9,000-point level for the first time on Friday, reflecting growing investor confidence in the Philippines as it reforms its tax system and builds new infrastructure, analysts said.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index was up 0.47 percent to 9.041.20, buoyed by gains in BDO Unibank, Ayala Land, SM Prime Holdings and SM Investments.
The first package of tax reforms took effect last Jan. 1, imposing higher duties on fuel, cars and sugar-sweetened drinks to offset a reduction in personal income tax rates and help fund President Rodrigo Duterte's P8-trillion infrastructure program.
"We were not who we were 3 or 4 years ago with the changes in our infrastructure and tax structure. The bullishness is definitely warranted," 2TradeAsia.com analyst Trina Cerdenia told ANC.
The main index has room to advance by another 100 to 150 points "going purely on momentum," before investors take profits, said Abacus Financial director for corporate finance Manny Ocampo.
Ocampo said investors would monitor fourth quarter and full year 2017 corporate results. Earnings growth of above 10 to 15 percent will likely push the market higher.
"That should signal some profit-taking, anything lower than 10 to 15 percent," he said.