Analysts see positive corporate, economic performance

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    An online stockbroker said the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) could hit 8,700 to 8,900 within the year while corporate earnings can expand by 10 to 15 percent.

    Philstocks Financial Inc. said the country’s gross domestic product can expand by 6.2 to 6.6 percent this year.

    Japeth Tantiangco, Philstocks analyst, said this confidence is hinged on the recovery of the economy from last year, particularly in the first half when the GDP was recorded at an average of 5.3 percent.

    Tantiangco also cited the stable inflation and the accommodative fiscal and monetary policies as contributing to the year’s bullish prospects.

    Tantiangco said the peso is expected to close between 50.70 and 51.70 to the dollar amid continued money supply growth and loose global monetary policies.

    Tantiangco said the country’s balance of payment surplus is seen “to narrow down” for the year amid stronger imports.

    Inflation meanwhile is seen to hover between 2.4 and 2.8 percent dragged by the increase in oil prices and aggravated by an expected peso depreciation and another tranche of excise taxes.

    Philstocks, however, said the projected increased productivity will likely temper price increases.

    Jun Calaycay, Philstocks head of research, said regulatory risk will continue to weigh on the market amid the current tussle of water concessionaire Manila Water Co. Inc., and Maynilad Water Services Inc. with President Duterte over their alleged “onerous” contracts.

    Calaycay said this is the biggest risk for the market so far. – R. Castro