DBS: Bangko Sentral to keep rates steady for now

Posted at 03/24/14 6:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Singapore-based investment bank DBS says the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is likely to keep interest rates steady during its policy meeting this Thursday, amid strong economic growth momentum.

"The BSP is likely to keep its policy rate unchanged this week. We have been of the view that a total of 50 basis point rate hikes are in the offing in the second half of 2014," DBS said in a research note.

DBS expects the BSP to start tweaking macro-prudential measures to prevent the economy from overheating in its next meeting on May 8.

"More clarity will be provided this week. The central bank may stay put for now but some tinkering in the next policy meeting is highly likely," it added.

It adds the central bank could adjust rates on Special Deposit Accounts first.

Last week, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco said while inflation remains manageable, allowing it to keep rates low, there's less and less room to do so.

Many economists expect the BSP to raise rates by half a percentage point from the current record lows. - ANC