PH is Asia’s 'new darling of investors' - report


Posted at Aug 30 2012 06:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 31 2012 05:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is emerging as "Asia's new darling of investors," according to a report on Thursday.

CNBC Asia published the article "Who Is Asia’s New Darling of Investors?" on Thursday, as the Philippines reported a 5.9% GDP growth rate in the second quarter, bringing its first half GDP growth to 6.1%.

The Philippines' services-led growth has impressed several regional economists, especially since the second quarter GDP figure is one of the highest in Asia, next only to China and Indonesia. The Philippines' 5.9% GDP growth in the second quarter bested Malaysia (5.4%), Vietnam (4.4%), Thailand (4.2%) and Singapore (2%).

Barclays Regional Economist Prakriti Sofat called the country as "Asia's rising star." Sofat also expects a credit ratings upgrade for the Philippines in the second half of the year.

The CNBC article also quoted Medha Samant, Investment Director at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, as saying the Philippines is the "new market darling" for foreign investors. He cited the Philippines' "reduced fiscal deficit, strong domestic demand and high overseas foreign worker remittances."

Aside from remittances, the country's business process outsourcing sector continues to experience strong growth.

"The Phillippines BPO sector employs almost the same number as bank workers today…there are opportunities in this market that we are quite excited about," Medha said.

The Philippines is the world's biggest call center hub, with $7.6 billion in voice service exports as compared to India’s $7 billion, according to US-based research firm Everest Group.

The CNBC report comes on the heels of an article  "A Youthful Populace Helps Make the Philippines an Economic Bright Spot in Asia" published on The New York Times on August 27.