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Philippine Stocks: Philippine Savings, Phoenix, Security Bank

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in Philippine trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of the noon close in Manila

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 0.2 percent to 4,541.23, after closing at a record yesterday.

Philippine Savings Bank (PSB PM) climbed 2.2 percent to 70 pesos, the highest close since the shares started trading in October 1994, after the lender said it will pay 15 centavos a share in dividends.

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. (PNX PM), a gasoline retailer, declined 1.7 percent to 11.60 pesos, the biggest drop since July 20. Phoenix’s net income in the April-to-June period slipped to 120 million pesos ($2.86 million), from 185 million pesos in the first quarter, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Security Bank Corp. (SECB PM) climbed 4.8 percent to 93.90 pesos, an all-time high, on speculation the lender will report improved earnings after its bigger rivals posted gains in net income, according to Macquarie Group Ltd.

“Investors are positioning ahead of the company’s results because among the mid-sized banks, Security Bank mirrors the performance of the nation’s biggest lenders,” Alex Pomento, a Manila-based strategist at Macquarie, said by phone today.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPH PM), the nation’s biggest mall developer, advanced 1.6 percent to 11.76 pesos, the highest close since July 8, after JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts reiterated an “overweight” rating on the stock, citing the company’s accelerating earnings growth.

SM Prime “remains our top pick in the Philippine property sector,” analysts Gilbert Lopez and Christopher Gee wrote in a report dated today. “The acceleration in growth indicates its business is more than just resilient.” First-half profit increased 14 percent, SM Prime said yesterday.

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