Peso seen at 38-39 vs US dollar this year


Posted at Jan 30 2013 05:46 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2013 01:48 AM


MANILA, Philippines - The peso is expected to further strengthen against the US dollar this year, according to an official of Sun Life Financial-Philippines. 

Sun Life Financial-Philippines chief investment officer Michael G. Manuel said the peso is seen to move between P38 to P39 against the US dollar this year. 

"The peso will continue to go from strength to strength this year," he said. 

As for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) intervention in the foreign exchange market, Manuel said the central bank  "can't keep buying the dollar forever."

Overseas Filipino workers' remittances as well as revenues from business process outsourcing companies will continue to drive dollar inflows, Manuel said. 

Philippine stocks are also expected to reach new highs this year. Manuel sees the Philippine Stock Exchange hit between 6,500 to 7,000 this year, driven by optimism on the Philippine economy's growth.

Manuel noted foreign and local investors' business confidence in the Philippines has been boosted by their trust in President Aquino.

The country is also expected to achieve investment grade rating this year, he said. He noted the Philippines' fiscal position is in  much better shape than Indonesia.

"Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service may upgrade the Philippines ahead of Standard & Poor's,” Manuel said.