The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PCOMP) rose 1.2 percent to 5,257.92, about 0.8 percent below its record close of 5,300.41 on May 3. The measure has gained 2.9 percent this quarter, the best-performing benchmark index in Asia, extending this year’s advance to 20 percent.
Aboitiz Power Corp. (AP) , which owns power plants and electricity retailers, increased 4.6 percent to 35.15 pesos. The stock posted its sharpest gain since Feb. 24 as the government signaled support for a coal-fired power plant the company is building with Manila Electric Co. (MER) . Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said any delays to the plant will cause “blackouts” in the main island of Luzon, the Philippine Star reported. Manila Electric rose 1.6 percent to 245.80 pesos, the highest close since June 11.
Belle Corp. (BEL) increased 8.1 percent to 5.20 pesos, the sharpest increase since March 15. SM Investments Corp. (SM PM), which owns shares of Belle through its units, advanced 2.5 percent to 728 pesos, the highest close since the stock began trading in March 2005. Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LR) , a partner in Belle’s casino, jumped 21 percent to 7.97 pesos, the sharpest gain since January 2011.
Belle is in talks with Melco Crown’s James Packer and Lawrence Ho for a possible Philippine casino venture, according to Corazon Guidote, senior vice president at SM Investments. Belle Vice Chairman Willy Ocier said discussions are “still ongoing” and “nothing final” has been agreed. The Australian Financial Review newspaper reported Packer and Ho flew to Manila to sign an agreement with Henry Sy Jr., co vice chairman of SM Investments.
PAL Holdings Inc. (PAL) increased 1.2 percent to 7.38 peso, the sharpest gain since May 21. The company will raise its authorized capital stock to 23 billion pesos ($543 million) from 20 billion pesos, a stock-exchange filing showed. The company’s directors also approved the purchase of 17 billion common shares at 1 peso each by Trustmark Holdings Corp. and PAL Holdings’ investment of 17 billion pesos into Philippine Airlines Inc., it said.
Puregold Price Club Inc. (PGOLD) , the nation’s second- biggest operator of hypermarkets and supermarkets, advanced 3 percent to 27.60 pesos, the highest close since the stock began trading on Oct. 5. The company forecasts a 25 percent growth in net sales this year from 39 billion pesos in 2011, which doesn’t include revenue of retailers that it acquired, a stock exchange filing showed. The company said it plans to open 25 Puregold stores this year and another 25 stores in 2013.
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