How to Invest in Philippines?

Among the frontier markets, investors have often overlooked the Philippines. With a population of about 91 million and a stable manufacturing and service-based economy, the country offers several good investment options. Goldman Sachs included Philippines in its “Next Eleven” list of countries. This year the economy is projected to grow 3.6%.

Some of the reasons to invest in Philippines include:

  • Banking sector appears resilient
  • The capital adequacy ratio of banks exceed the minimum required
  • Economy is less dependent on exports than many other regional peers with exports-to-GDP ratio around 30%
  • Inflation is mild and is under the target range set by the Central Bank
  • Financial markets has rebounded due to strong overseas remittances, macroeconomic policies and renewed confidence
  • The current account remains a surplus
  • Many companies in the telecommunications, energy, property,banking and retail trade sector are owned by conglomerates
  • Many of its major trading partners are in fast-growing Asia

Source: IMF

According to a recent article, the banking and utility sector has interesting opportunities for investors.Currently there is no country-specific ETF for Philippines. However in February, iShares filed papers to launch a Philippines ETF. This ETF will be heavily concentrated in utilities, telecommunications and financials.

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company accounts for about one-fourth of the benchmark PSE Composite Index. Its ADR trades under the ticker PHI in the New York Stock Exchange. It has a dividend yield of 6.17%. The company is well-positioned in the industry and is expected to experience accelerated growth with its broadband service. Some of the largest companies such as Ayala (OTC: AYALY), Globe Telecom (GTMEY), Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company(OTC: MTPOY), etc. trade on the OTC markets. The complete list can be found here.

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