Philippine Stocks: Empire East, Metro Pacific, Philex, SM Prime

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

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index gained 0.7 percent to 5,204.84, a record close.

Empire East Land Holdings Inc. (ELI PM) jumped 14 percent to 74 centavos, the highest close since Aug. 4. The builder said its directors approved the sale of shares through a one-for-four rights offer at a price of 1 peso each.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPI PM) increased 7.1 percent to 4.53 pesos, the highest close since Sept. 18, 2009. Metro Pacific and Ayala Corp. (AC PM) agreed to bid jointly for government light-rail projects. The two companies will own 50 percent of the projects and related real estate developments, they said. Ayala climbed 2.2 percent to 428.20 pesos, the most since April 13.

Philex Petroleum Corp. (PXP PM) surged by the daily limit of 50 percent to 24.30 pesos, the highest close since the stock began trading on Sept. 13. The shares rose on speculation the company is “sitting on a huge gas reserve,” said James Lago, head of research at PCCI Securities Brokers Corp. The stock climbed 17 percent yesterday after the company said its unit Forum Energy Plc expects to announce an “improvement” in resources when it presents data from its Service Contract 72 exploration area later this week. Philex Mining Corp. (PX PM), owner of Philex Petroleum, increased 8.3 percent to 24.20 pesos, the highest close since Oct. 28.

SM Development Corp. (SMDC PM), a property developer, climbed 1 percent to 7.05 pesos. The company may start projects in China in late 2012, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Henry Sy Jr. said today.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPH PM), the nation’s biggest shopping mall operator, increased 1.3 percent to 17 pesos, the steepest gain since March 30. First-quarter profit climbed 15 percent to 2.4 billion pesos ($56.3 million), Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Lim said. The company will sell as much as 7 billion pesos of notes in a private placement to fund expansion, he said.

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