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Philippine Stocks: Megaworld Corp., Metropolitan Bank, Puregold

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

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose for a third day, gaining 0.8 percent to 4,938.61.

Banks, Builders: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI PM), the nation’s third-largest bank by assets, rose 5 percent to 70 pesos, a record close based on prices going back to January 1990. Megaworld Corp. (MEG PM), a builder of residential towers, climbed 3.4 percent to 1.82 pesos, the highest close since Jan. 24. Banks and developers rose on speculation the central bank will cut interest rates for a second straight meeting today.

“A rate cut will be favorable for banks, because lower costs will encourage borrowing,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Holdings Inc. “Lower borrowing costs will entice property and home purchases.”

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (MBT PM), the nation’s second-largest bank by assets, climbed 3.7 percent to 84 pesos, the sharpest gain since Feb. 6. Its Philippine Savings Bank unit raised its cash dividend rate to 30 percent from six percent.

Puregold Price Club Inc. (PGOLD PM), The nation’s second-biggest supermarket operator, advanced 1.9 percent to 21.75 pesos, the sharpest gain since Feb. 22. The company said that it will open 25 new stores and is targeting 25 percent growth in net sales this year.

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