Philippine Stocks Drop Most in Seven Weeks as Megaworld Slumps

Philippine stocks fell the most in seven weeks, leading declines in Asia, as financial companies and power producers slid.

Megaworld Corp. plunged 6.1 percent, pacing losses by property developers. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. retreated 4 percent. Energy Development Corp., the nation’s largest geothermal power producer, slumped to its lowest level since August 2010.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index sank 1.8 percent to 6,155.34 at the close, the most since Sept. 30. The country is grappling with the effects of Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into the central part of the country on Nov. 8. The gauge has retreated 17 percent since May 22, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said for the first time the central bank could taper its $85 billion-a-month asset-purchase program.

“Today’s movement is a continuation of portfolio realignment by overseas investors that started since the Federal Reserve started to signal possible stimulus tapering,” said James Lago, head of research at PCCI Securities Brokers Corp. “The typhoon has provided overseas investors a good excuse to continue taking profit.”

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index is valued at 17.8 times this year’s estimated earnings, the second-most expensive among 13 Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg. Overseas investors have sold a net $113.5 million of Philippine shares this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Megaworld, a builder of residential towers, slumped to its lowest level since Oct. 7. Metropolitan Bank, the nation’s second-largest bank by assets, declined to an 11-month low.

Storm Damage

Haiyan, one of the deadliest typhoons in Philippine history, may cut economic growth through the third quarter of next year and reconstruction costs may reach as much as 4 percent of the economy, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said yesterday.

Policy makers raised inflation forecasts for this year and next, estimating consumer-price gains to average 3.2 percent in 2013 and 4.5 percent in 2014, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. That compares with an October forecast of 3 percent for 2013 and 4 percent for 2014.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in its latest bulletin put the death toll at 4,011, with 18,557 people injured and 1,602 missing.

Energy Development fell 3.9 percent. The stock sank 12 percent yesterday after saying none of its typhoon-damaged power plants are operable. First Gen Corp., which controls the company, slid 0.9 percent in a 10th day of losses.