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Philippine Stock Index Rises to Record on Demand, Rates Outlook

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Philippine stocks rose to a record after overseas investors made the biggest purchases of the nation’s equities in two weeks amid speculation the central bank will keep borrowing costs low.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 1.3 percent, the most since Sept. 14, to 5,763.64 as of the close in Manila. The largest contributor to the gain was Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., the nation’s biggest company by value, which climbed 2.8 percent. BDO Unibank Inc. and Megaworld Corp. rose at least 4 percent, leading banks and builders higher.

Overseas investors bought a net $81.9 million of shares yesterday, the most since $146 million on Nov. 21, stock exchange data show. The purchases came after government data showed Philippine inflation slowed to a five-month low in November and Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco said his bank’s monetary stance “remains appropriate.”

“There is growing confidence that more investors will raise their Philippine exposure,” Allan Yu, who helps manage about $10.3 billion at Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., said by phone from Manila today. “While there might not be further rate cuts, the central bank will most likely keep borrowing costs low.”

Philippine economic growth accelerated to 7.1 percent in the third quarter, the fastest pace since 2010, as the central bank cut overnight borrowing rates four times this year to a record low of 3.5 percent. The bank will hold its next policy meeting on Dec. 13. Consumer prices grew 2.8 percent last month, the statistics office reported yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Sayson in Manila at isayson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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