Foreign investors flocking to stock market

Posted at 03/02/2012 3:50 PM | Updated as of 03/02/2012 3:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign investors flocked to the local bourse in the first two months of the year, helping the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) reach fresh highs.

In a statement, the PSE said foreign investors were net buyers year-to-date in the first two months with net buying at P22.72 billion as of end February, a 397% growth from the previous year. This was a reversal from the P7.65 billion in net selling during the the same period in 2011.

On Thursday, the PSEi touched the 5,000 level to a new intraday record. The PSEi hit an intraday high of 5,011.09.

"The trek past the 5,000 index marks a very significant milestone in PSE history.  Central banks, especially in the larger, developed economies, have put in place various measures to make sure that we avoid a widespread collapse, and this has provided a rallying point among global markets. Coupled with the country’s own growth story, we are hopeful that this rally will continue," said Hans Sicat, PSE President and Chief Executive Officer.

As of February 29, the PSE's total market capitalization stood at P9.31 trillion, a 5.91% jump from the P8.79 trillion during the same period last year.

Total value turnover for the first two months of 2012 hit P331.87 billion, a 69% increase from P195.83 billion in 2011.

The property index emerged as the best performer in the first 2 months of 2012, surging by 23.38%, followed by financials, which rose 21.73%.

The PSE extended its trading hours to 3:30 p.m. this year, as part of its efforts to boost market liquidity.