Philippine market news and economic recap: August 4-8, 2008
August 12, 2008
Update on the Philippine market and other economic news, for the week ended August 4 to 8, 2008.
Philippine inflation rate hits 17-year high of 12.2%
The country’s inflation rate rose to 12.2% in July from 11.4% in the previous month to post its highest rate since December 1991. Food, beverage and tobacco led the groups of commodities with the largest increases, with prices rising by 17.8%. Price increases in fuel, light and water, however, slowed down to 5.5% from 7.6%. The average inflation during the first seven months of the year now stands at 8.3%.
Exports reach $4.49 billion
The country’s merchandise exports in June rose by 8.3% to US$4.49 billion from US$4.15 billion from the previous year. Exports of electronic products, accounting for 58.6% of total export revenues that month, increased by 6.4%. The year-on-year increases in other export goods are: coconut oil (105.2%); cathodes and sections of cathodes of refined copper (96.7%); and metal components (53.4%). The aggregate export earnings for the first half of the year is US$25.58 billion, 4.0% higher than the US$24.60 billion earnings during the same period last year.
Gross international reserves up slightly
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippine Central Bank) reported that, at the end of July, the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) went up slightly to US$36.86 billion, from US$36.71 billion in June. The increase in reserves were primarily due to proceeds from the privatization program of the National Power Corporation deposited by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), as well as BSP’s income from investments abroad.
Oil prices fall again
Prices of crude oil last week declined again as US crude oil futures traded at the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped to US$118.58 per barrel on Wednesday, August 6. The drop in oil prices was primarily supported by the latest data from the US Energy Information Administration, which showed that stocks of crude oil increased to higher than expected levels from the previous week.
RP stock market up 4.2%
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) closed the week up by 108.60 points or 4.2% from last week, to close at 2,692.81 points. The stock price of Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL) led the week’s gainers with 17.0% one-week increase, followed by First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH), 16.4% and SM Investments Corporation (SM), 11.1%.
Source: Philippine Stock Exchange