Philippines seen to outperform ASEAN with tax reform boost


Posted at Jun 01 2017 05:04 PM

MANILA - The Philippine economy will likely outperform its Southeast Asian peers, as an overhaul of the country's tax system makes it more attractive to investors, a fund manager said Thursday.

Tax reform will help fund President Rodrigo Duterte's P8-trillion infrastructure program while stimulating consumption due to lower income tax rates, said Alan Richardson, ASEAN Fund Manager for Samsung Asset Management.

"This latest development was what we've been hoping to see in the past 12 months," Richardson said about the tax bill. 

Richardson said he was optimistic foreign funds would return to the Philippines, helping the stock market breach the 8,000-point level or even touch 9,000.

The Philippines is likely to have a 15-percent return on investment potential, higher than Singapore and Malaysia.

Clashes between government troops and ISIS-inspired militants in Marawi City are unlikely to dampen investor sentiment., he said.

"The reality is that this type of terrorism has become a global threat and it's not just confined to the Philippines. So from a foreign investor viewpoint it wouldn't be seen as just endemic to the Philippines itself," Richardson said. 

Richardson said the Philippines' response showed that it was trying to keep terrorism from spreading to Luzon and the Visayas.