Palace official says investors’ confidence on PHL remains amidst Mamasapano incident

By , on February 3, 2015

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MANILA — The death of 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) has not negatively impacted the Philippine economy’s attractiveness, a Malacanang official said.

In a briefing Monday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda noted that trading at the local bourse remains high.

“So far, there have been no indications that this has (hurt the economy). Certainly this has an effect on the state of our bereavement and mourning for our fallen 44 but we have not seen any indication otherwise in the business market — anything negative in the business sector,” he said.

The country is mourning the death of 44 members of the police’s elite group in what the government said is due to “mis-encounter” with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on January 25, 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The PNP-SAF members were on a mission to serve the arrest warrants of two suspected terrorists — Filipino bomb maker Abdulbasit Usman and Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, reportedly a leader of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya (JI).

President Benigno Aquino III has declared January 30, 2015 as a Day of Mourning for the fallen heroes.

Despite all the ruckus on the incident, the trading at the local bourse among others remains strong.

Investors have been trooping to the Philippines’ stock market following the announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) of its 60-billion euro monthly stimulus program from March 2015 to September 2016.

Analysts have been projecting higher capital inflows to the Philippines as a result of some negative developments in advance economies, except in the US, as investors look for higher yields.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended last week at 7,689.91 points, the highest so far this year.

Relatively, the Philippine peso has been generally strong against the dollar buoyed by the capital flows as well as investors’ preference on emerging markets (EMs) like the country.

Analysts have been saying that the Philippine economy remains among the top destinations of foreign investments because of the proven strength of the country’s fundamentals like the external payments position, sound banking system and improvement in its fiscal management.