Philippine Stocks Climb to Record; PLDT, Philex Mining Gain

Philippine stocks rose for a fourth day, set for a record close. Philippine Long Distance (TEL) Telephone Co. climbed after Macquarie Securities Ltd. raised its price forecast for the stock.

Philex Mining Corp., the nation's largest metal producer by market value, climbed after the price of copper jumped to a four-week high. Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) advanced after the company announced plans to buy its parent's sugar business.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PCOMP) added 58.38, or 1.6 percent, to 3750.06 as of 10:27 a.m. in Manila, after advancing 2.9 percent in the previous three days. Gainers outnumbered losers 89 to 17, with 39 stocks unchanged in the broader market.

Philippine Long Distance, the nation's largest company by market value, gained 60 pesos, or 2.3 percent, to 2,710. Macquarie analyst Ramakrishna Maruvada raised his 12-month price estimate for the stock to 3,056 pesos from 2,740, saying the company will benefit from the nation's improving economy and low interest rates, according to a research note published today.

``PLDT is a quintessential proxy to the Philippines market and anticipated revival in domestic consumption,'' Maruvada said. ``We reiterate our outperform rating.''

Philex Mining (PX), the nation's most profitable metal producer, gained 10 centavos, or 1.9 percent, to 5.40 pesos, the first gain in seven days.

Copper futures for September delivery climbed 2.9 percent to 65,730 yuan ($8,654) a ton as of 9:46 a.m. in Shanghai, set for the highest close since June 7.

Filinvest, IPVG

Filinvest Development, which has investments in property development and finance, rose 30 centavos, or 4.2 percent, to 7.50 pesos.

The company said yesterday that the purchase of Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp., which owns two mills and a plantation, from ALG Holdings Corp. for 1.55 billion new shares is expected to boost earnings per share by up to 5 percent this year and in 2008. The transaction will boost ALG Holdings' stake in Filinvest Development to about 77 percent, according to statements filed with the stock exchange.

IPVG Corp., a Philippine software and Internet-content producer, jumped 50 centavos, or 7.1 percent, to 7.50 pesos, set for its highest close in more than seven years. The company said it has agreed to buy a local call-centre business, without saying how much it is paying.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian C. Sayson in Manila at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Regan at

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