President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
July 2017 Issue

Last June 21, in celebration of the Philippine Independence, we had two of the country’s prime-movers of arts and culture. Arch. Paulo Alcazaren shared with us the relevance of national heritage conservation, and Direk Joel Lamangan on the state of the local film industry and how it is developing as an art. Our June GMM was a diversion from our usual topics.

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This Market (still) has Legs
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Mr. Ronald S. GosecoBy Ronald S. Goseco

MANILA TIMES (FINEX Files)
July 21, 2017

This Market (still) has Legs

I recently attended the 2017 mid – year outlook of Citi. Their outlook for the reminder of the year is still cautiously optimistic, with the global recovery appearing to be on track despite the rising Chinese economy concerns. As of May, global equities have rallied 10.5 % with Emerging Market equities up 17% on a year to date basis. Bond markets have also posted positive returns of around 4% surprising a lot of investors.

So does the global market still have legs to run another stretch? Their analysts think so. They believe that opportunities still exists in Emerging Market equities as well as European equities given attractive valuations and improving fundamentals. One of the favourite charts that they frequently refer to is the heat map of the global purchasing managers index (PMI) which shows the economic health of the manufacturing sector. Except for some countries like Greece, the PMI for most of the world seems to be on an expansionary mode. They expect a moderate and broad based global growth as the structural problems that have littered the economic landscape start to recede. These problems include the fiscal tightening of most of the developed nations, the European debt crisis, the global bank deleveraging, the decline in emerging market growth and the collapse in commodity prices. They now see a clearer horizon with rising corporate profits, a pick-up in investment spending, higher industrial activity and low interest rates across the globe. Of course there are still risks and concerns about a slowdown in Chinese activity, geopolitical risks practically in all areas of the world and the rising scepticism over US tax reforms.

With the expected economic growth in the US, the Fed is expected to pick up speed with three possible rate hikes anticipated in 2017. The Fed appears to be an exception though as other central banks including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are expected to remain on hold for a while longer. As long as rates do not rise rapidly, corporate bonds and equities are expected to hold up. Their analysts expect all major regional equity markets to deliver positive earnings growth in 2017. They expect global earnings to rise 15% this year with 11% in the US, 22% in the UK and 19% in Europe. Japan and the other markets are also forecasted to have double digit earnings growth. This synchronized growth has only occurred seven times since 1990 and is phenomenal considering that a lot of these economies have just experienced a recession in the recent past.

The question that was in everyone’s mind with all these developments was: if this market still had legs, where are the opportunities? Their analysts expect Emerging Markets particularly Asia to outperform other regional equity markets. They also believe that Emerging Europe and Latin American equity valuations remain at historical large discount to the US. They are also positive on cyclical sectors including Energy, Financial and Technology sectors.

So does this all make sense? It certainly appears to be case. Will our country be able to catch up with the rest of the world in this unusual synchronized growth? We certainly hope so.

Ronald Goseco is currently EVP of the
Financial Executives Institute and COO
of IDI Volkswagen

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