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Philippine Stocks: First Philippine, Manila Electric, PAL

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

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 0.4 percent to 5,107.73. The gauge has risen 17 percent this quarter, the biggest increase since the three months ended Sept. 30, 2010.

First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH PM) rose 1.7 percent to 64.80 pesos, the highest close since March 19. The company posted net income of 2.1 billion pesos ($49 million) in 2011, compared with 24.9 billion pesos in 2010, when profit was boosted by a 23.6 billion-peso one-time gain from the sale of a portion of its stake in Manila Electric Co., a stock exchange filing showed.

Manila Electric Co. (MER PM), the nation’s largest power retailer, added 2 percent to 262 pesos, the steepest advance since March 19. The Energy Regulatory Commission said it has allowed Manila Electric to collect from its customers the franchise tax the company pays to local governments.

PAL Holdings Inc. (PAL PM) climbed 4.6 percent to 8.14 pesos, the highest close since October 2007, on speculation a stake sale of its Philippine Airlines Inc. unit to San Miguel Corp. (SMC PM) is about to be completed.

“The word spreading in the market is that an agreement has been reached with San Miguel and announcement of the stake sale will be made shortly,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc. PAL President Jaime Bautista said management is “not involved in any discussions.” San Miguel President Ramon Ang didn’t respond to text messages for comment today. Ang said yesterday the companies are still in talks.

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