Philippine Stocks Climb to Record as Earnings Rise: Manila Mover

Philippine stocks rose, driving up the benchmark index the most in a month, as more companies reported an improvement in earnings.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., the nation’s biggest company by market value, rose to a five-year high. The stock climbed 2.3 percent yesterday after reporting a sixfold jump in quarterly profit. Aboitiz Power Corp. added 3.1 percent to a record after the company said today that 2012 net income increased 13 percent to 24.4 billion pesos (599 million). Ayala Land Inc. climbed 4.8 percent, leading gains among developers, after the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that property inventories are growing faster in Manila than most other Asian cities as demand increases.

“The earnings coming out have been good and so far there has been no major disappointment, giving the market support,” Allan Yu, who helps manage the equivalent of $10.9 billion as a fund manager at Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., said by phone.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index increased 1.8 percent to 6,835.21 at the close, its biggest advance since Feb. 4. The gauge has surged 18 percent this year, the most among the largest Asian benchmark indexes, amid expectations economic growth will accelerate and the nation will win an investment-grade credit rating.

The Philippine gauge climbed 294 percent since October 2008 through March 5, making it the world’s biggest equity bull market. That’s at least 134 percentage points more than every other bull market in emerging and developed nations, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

SM Investments Corp. climbed 1.9 percent, the biggest increase in a week, after reporting today that 2012 profits rose to a record 24.7 billion pesos.

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