Regulators have been supportive in developing capital markets in response to the growing interest in the Philippine economy, says Maris Flores, head of HSBC Securities Services, Philippines.
In May 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission, in line with its goal to promote the interests of the investors, released guidelines on how corporations will be able to comply with the foreign ownership limit.
In November 2013, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas allowed the registration of securities of non-resident entities listed in the exchange. In December 2013, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) launched the first exchange traded funds, demonstrating its commitment to make new products available in the market.
The central bank is to implement new capitalisation requirements when it adopts Basel III guidelines in January 2014 to ensure the financial stability of individual banks and the industry.
The Bureau of Treasury is looking at the introduction of inflation-linked bonds. Further liberalisation of foreign exchange rules, opening the market to the Asean trading linkage and the expansion of listed products available are expected to be the key focus for regulators and market participants alike.
The Philippines received its first investment- grade rating from Fitch, while S&P and Moody’s cited strong macroeconomic fundamentals and structural economic improvements.
The PSEi Index breached the 7,000 level for the first time in April 2013 – it has since retreated to around 6,000. Net foreign portfolio investment also increased by 38%, from $2.66bn in October 2012 to $3.66bn in October 2013.