Philippine stock market lost 9% in January 2008

James Ryan Jonas

If you placed money in the Philippine stock market from the beginning of January this year, you would have already lost 9% by now.

That translates to a million pesos worth only P910,000 as of January 31.

This is based on the performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), a basket of 30 listed common stocks representing the overall movement of market prices and the general state of the Philippine economy.

On January 31, the PSEi closed at 3,294.08, down 9.04% compared to its original level at the start of the year.

Badly hit were the Mining and Oil sector which lost 15.12% and the Holding Firms sector which declined in value by 14.74%

The Philippine Daily Inquirer recently reported that foreign investors are currently unloading themselves of Philippine stocks.

In 2007, foreign investment in local stocks fell by $1.36 billion and in November and December 2007 alone, around P16.69 billion worth of shares were sold.

Although the Philippines currently shows strong fundamentals, evidenced by a 31-year high growth of 7.3% last year, the lingering subprime market problem in the US and fears of recession in the world’s largest economy are weighing down the local stock market.

Is the Philippines looking at a bleaker 2008 in terms of stock market and economic performance? We hope not.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.