PH posts best gain in 14 months after Moody's upgrade

Reuters

Posted at Dec 12 2014 07:26 PM | Updated as of Dec 13 2014 03:30 AM

BANGKOK - Philippine shares saw their biggest gain in 14 months on Friday, erasing most of their losses for the week, after a sovereign credit rating upgrade by Moody's while most others in the region rebounded from the previous day's falls.

Moody's on Thursday upgraded its rating on the Philippines by one notch to Baa2 from Baa3 with a stable outlook, citing a decline in the country's debt burden and structural improvements in fiscal management.

The Philippine index was up 2.2 percent, its biggest single-day gain since October 2013, led by shares of BDO Unibank and Bank of the Philippine Islands, which were among four banks whose long-term ratings Moody's also upgraded.

The benchmark ended the week 0.1 percent lower.

Other Southeast Asian markets were largely down for the week on heavy selloffs in energy shares.

Indonesia eked out a small gain, with a weekly loss of 0.5 percent, and Singapore's Straits Times Index was a tad higher, ending the week in negative territory, while Vietnam gained 0.7 percent, down 4.3 percent on the week.

Stocks in Thailand and Malaysia underperformed due to losses in shares of oil and gas firms as Brent crude slipped on Friday to below $63 a barrel, its lowest since July 2009.

The Thai SET index fell 0.8 percent, closing down 5.2 percent on the week, its worst performance since January. Shares of PTT Exploration and Production, hit hard by tumbling oil prices, plunged 14.4 percent on the week.

Malaysia's key index was down 0.7 percent on the day, led by a 7.2 percent drop in shares of Sapurakencana Petroleum. The index was down 0.9 percent on the week, a second straight week of declines.