The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 0.1 percent to 4,285.93.
Mall operators: SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPH) , the nation’s biggest shopping mall operator, climbed 1.1 percent to 12.74 pesos, pacing gains among Philippine mall operators, on speculation Christmas retail sales may increase as holidaying overseas workers take advantage of a weaker peso. Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) gained 0.8 percent to 15.40 pesos, the first advance in five days, while Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) rose 0.9 percent to 11.60 pesos, the first gain since Dec. 5.
The peso dropped to a 10-week low after the government reported exports fell for a sixth month. “A weaker peso favors our overseas Filipino workers, most of whom are in the country during Christmas and spending their money in the malls,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc.
Active Alliance Inc. (AAI) jumped 12 percent to 38.20 pesos, the highest close since Nov. 29. The company’s board approved a plan to raise its authorized capital stock, the number of shares it can issue to investors, to 15 billion pesos ($340 million) from 120 million and change its name to Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
Cebu Air Inc. (CEB) , operator of the Philippines’ biggest budget carrier, slumped 4.7 percent to 62.90 pesos, the lowest close since the stock began trading in October 2010. Investors are concerned that higher fuel costs brought about by the weakening peso may hurt profits, Jomar Lacson, an analyst at brokerage Campos Lanuza & Co. Inc., said in a telephone interview today.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPI) , which has investments in tollroads, power and hospitals, climbed 2.6 percent to 3.58 pesos, the highest close since Aug. 2. Jody Santiago, a Manila-based strategist at UBS AG, said the stock is among its top Philippine picks for 2012.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ian C. Sayson in Manila at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at email@example.com