03 May 2010

Investors Want Noynoy as President

Noynoy Aquino
A survey conducted last month among investors in the country showed Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III as the candidate best suited to promote a stable investment environment.

Aquino posted an approval rating of 37 percent in the survey conducted last March by international independent research firm The Nielsen Company for the global financial services group ING.

The ING Investor Dashboard Survey measures and tracks investor sentiment of mass affluent investors each quarter from 12 Asia Pacific markets, including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Australia, and the Philippines.

The administration's Lakas-Kampi CMD candidate Gilberto 'Gibo' Teodoro Jr., ranked second with 28 percent, an 11 percent increase in confidence votes of 17 percent in Q4 2009.

Nacionalista Party candidate Senator Manuel “Manny” Villar , on the other hand, had a seven percent decline in investor confidence from 30 percent in Q4 2009 to 23 percent in Q1 2010.

Investors also suggested that the incoming president should prioritize policy programs on economy, education and trade relations in order to promote stable investors’ environment in the country, the ING said in its report.

The report also noted a five-percentage-point gain on investor confidence in the Philippines for the first quarter (Q1) of 2010 despite uncertainties in the upcoming presidential elections, ING added.

The ING reported that investor sentiment in the country climbed to 139 from 134 in Q4 of 2009, which means the Philippine index is still in the "optimistic zone."

"The Philippines maintains its position in the optimistic zone for the third consecutive quarter, suggesting that investors believe the market has stabilized," the ING said.

The group also noted that investors' confidence has continuously escalated since hitting a low of 89 at the start of the global financial crisis in Q1 2009.

Among the factors on which the upward trend in investor confidence might be attributed to would be the "investors' improved expectations on the growth prospects for Asian markets, including the Philippines," the report said, citing Paul Joseph Garcia, Trust Officer of ING Bank N.V. Manila Branch.

Likewise, the heavy election spending, increased exports and remittance inflows might also have contributed to the economic stimulus, the ING added.

Citing a report from the National Statistics Office, ING noted a 42.5 percent year-on-year increase in Philippine exports at the start of this year which hit US$ 3.58 billion as compared to US$ 2.51 billion in the same month in 2009.

"This resurgence of demand bodes well for the export-heavy electronics sector, which is expected to grow heavily in 2010 compared to 2009," the ING noted.

"Improving valuation of the peso – due to factors including benign inflation and the government's improving fiscal condition – may also be contributing to improved investor confidence in the country. However, the peso's rise may be disrupted by the May elections," the report read.

A total of 3,729 mass affluent investors were interviewed online across the 12 Asia Pacific markets including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and Australia for the Q1 2010 survey.

"The respondents are aged 30 years and above, and have disposable assets or investments of US$ 100,000 and above, with the exception of Indonesia (disposable assets or investments of US$ 60,000 and above) and the Philippines (disposable assets or investments of US$ 60,000 or monthly income of PhP 200, 000 and above)," the ING said.