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PIA Press Release

Peso to strengthen in 4th quarter this year, says Teves

Manila (27 September) -- The Philippine peso will regain its strength this last three remaining months due to the country's improved macro-economic fundamentals and reduced global investors aversion to emerging markets, American Express (AmEx) Bank forecasts yesterday in its currency outlook for September-October.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said the improved fiscal performance is expected to remain on track and economic growth will likely stay well-supported by household spending, business investment and government spending, despite the prospect of weaker exports.

The bank assigned a 15-percent risk of the peso depreciating by over 10 percent against the dollar in the next three months. Over a 12-month period, AmEx sees the peso holding at about 44:$1.

NEDA Secretary Augusto Santos said the rising confidence of both local and foreign businessmen to do business in the country is reflected in the 26 per cent increase in investments from January to August and is expected to create 93,164 new jobs. The Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) had a combined project approval of 494 projects worth P158 billion which is higher than the P126 billion recorded during the same period last year.

He said foreign investors committed P80.7 billion or 51 percent of total investments while local businessmen committed P77.4 billion.

The NEDA chief cited that manufacturing and real estate industries continue to attract new businesses. Majority of the investments was for the manufacturing sector with P60.61 billion. It grew by 93 percent primarily due to the capital infusion of Mabuhay Vinyl Corp. for the manufacture of caustic soda and hydrochloric acid and liquid worth P564.6 million, and Pilipinas Kyohritsu's production of automotive wiring harness worth P453.3 million and real estate was a far second with P34.78 billion in investments.

Trade Secretary Favila expects more infrastructure investments to come in as the private sector has started to engage in the industry. Combined infrastructure and electricity, gas and water supply sector grew with the capital infusion of SN Aboitiz Power, Inc., a power generating plant in Isabela worth P27 billion, First Hydro Power Corp., a 112 MW Pantabangan-Masiay hydro Power generation project worth P7.7 billion, Montalban Methane Power Corp. worth P1.6 billion and Hedcor Tamugan, Inc., a hydroelectric power project worth P940 million.

Secretary Favila said improved infrastructure attracts more business to come in. Better infrastructure allows business to do things efficiently and effectively, thus increasing the country's competitiveness. (PIA Isabela) [top]

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