Bloomberg News

Philippine Peso Gains a Second Day, Pares Monthly Drop on Growth

August 31, 2012

The Philippine peso advanced for a second day, paring a monthly loss, after a government report showed gross domestic product expanded faster than economists estimated in the second quarter.

Growth in the $225 billion economy will probably reach the high end of an official forecast for an expansion of 5 percent to 6 percent this year, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said yesterday. GDP increased 5.9 percent in the three months through June from a year earlier, compared with a 5.5 percent gain predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg survey, according to official figures released Aug. 30.

“Philippine economic fundamentals remain strong and will continue to attract investments,” said Enrico Tanuwidjaja, a regional economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in Singapore. Should global policy makers boost efforts to spur growth, “investors will favor countries with the best prospects and that will include the Philippines,” he said.

The peso gained 0.3 percent today to close at 42.085 per dollar in Manila, data from Tullett Prebon Plc show. It fell 0.8 percent this month, the worst performance since May. One-month implied volatility, which measures exchange-rate swings used to price options, fell 20 basis points today to 6.10 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The government will boost spending to fund rebuilding of structures damaged by floods earlier this month, and that will further support the economy, Balisacan said yesterday.

Policy Review

“Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will review the stance of policy, and calibrate any further action” after considering the impact of increased public spending and the global demand slowdown, Governor Amando Tetangco wrote in a mobile-phone message yesterday. Policy makers meet next on Sept. 13.

The central bank may keep the overnight borrowing rate at a record-low 3.75 percent for the rest of the year and will favor prudential measures to manage inflows, Tanuwidjaja said. The peso may strengthen to 41.80 by year-end, he predicted.

The yield on the 12.75 percent bonds due July 2014 rose three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 2.98 percent, according to midday fixing prices at Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. The rate was 2.94 percent at the end of July.

To contact the reporters on this story: Clarissa Batino at cbatino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net.


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