Philippine shares end at new record high

PHOTO: Philippine shares end at new record high

MANILA - Philippine share prices climbed 1.23 per cent Monday to finish at a new record high as dealers grow confident in the Southeast Asian economy, dealers said.

The composite index rose 73.46 points to 6,044.91, the first time the key index breached the 6,000 level, and already up almost 4.0 per cent since the start of the year.

Foreign fund managers have been increasingly investing in the local market due to the country's strong fundamentals, analysts said.

Jun Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities said breaching the 6,000-level had been expected.

"The debates will now centre on whether the economy in general and listed firms in particular can provide the necessary numbers to justify and sustain trades above that level," Calaycay said.

And Reynaldo Montalbo, a senior vice president of First Metro Investments Corp, said the market, which grew almost 33 per cent in 2012, would likely rise further this year as interest rates ease on the back of expected stronger economic growth.

He also highlighted the growing prospects the country's credit rating will be raised to investment grade, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

San Miguel rose 3.13 per cent to close at 108.70 pesos and Megaworld jumped 8.8 per cent to end at 3.33 pesos.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone added 0.5 per cent to 2,662 pesos while Metropolitan Bank and Trust gained 1.6 per cent at 103.40 pesos.