MANILA — Leading online stock brokerage COL Financial expects the local stock barometer to reach a new high this year at 9,300 points, sustained by the strong economic momentum and boosted by a positive sentiment on the government’s tax reform program.
COL Financial Head of Research April Lee Tan told reporters the 9,300 points is “actually not a conservative” target, as the brokerage firm forecasts a 10-percent earnings per share (EPS) growth of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) and price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 20.4 times.
“The tax reform program, the reason why we are really excited about it is that for the government, the additional taxes will allow it to increase its spending, spend more on infrastructure, which hopefully allows us to attract more investments and create more jobs and consumer spending. So it’s a virtuous cycle,” she said.
Tan said government spending is another engine of growth, boosting its hope the country could achieve a 7- to 9-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
She added the PSEi rose 12.5 percent since the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) was approved by the House of Representatives on May 31, 2017.
The first package of the TRAIN was signed into law last Dec. 19.
Juan Barredo, chief technical analyst at COL Financial Group Inc., foresees the PSEi hitting its next resistance at 9,000 to 9,220 points.
“If these ones are broken, then we will look at our next target at about 9,700,” Barredo said.
The benchmark PSE index closed to a new record high of 8,558.42 points on the last trading day of 2017, after posting losses for two years in a row.
It closed on Friday at 8,915.92 points.
Meanwhile, Tan identified COL’s favored sectors as property, gaming, consumer-retailer and restaurants, and financials.
Its top stock picks include property firms Ayala Land Inc. and Megaworld Corp., leisure and gaming firm Bloomberry Resorts Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., D&L Industries Inc., Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Semirara Mining and Power Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., and conglomerate Ayala Corp.