Investment-driven Philippine market poised to grow – Citi

(The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - As the market settles into the second half, Citi Philippines recently shared its forecasts on the economic, fiscal, and sociopolitical status of the country.

Over 100 treasury and finance officials from multinationals and local corporates gathered at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel for a briefing, dubbed ‘Perspectives’ by Citi.

Citi CEO for the Philippines Aftab Ahmed welcomed the guests and assured them that Citi is bullish about Philippine prospects. “This is a market we are very committed to,” he began.

He then shared with the audience his personal observations of the positive physical changes that the country has undergone since his last visit prior to becoming chief of Citi Philippines, all a testament to the progress that the country is currently enjoying.

“You should be proud of the growth of the economy – six percent GDP growth is impressive,” he added. He guaranteed that Citi will be there to support its clients as they ride on this development, and later thanked them for the opportunity to be of service to them as their financial partner.

“At Citi, part of our responsibility is to raise your awareness about this fast-changing environment. The Philippines continues to boom as investments soar high, but we all need meaningful insights to shape both our short- and long-term corporate decisions,” said Ahmed.

Citi economist Jun Trinidad then took the stage and presented how events in finance and politics, both in a global and national scale, could affect the Philippine market landscape.

 ‘Perspectives’ also highlighted political insights by University of the Philippines professor Dr. Clarita Carlos, who explained that the next-elected President can affect very little change in the country because the political structure is the same. However, the value of voting remains essential.“Forty eight percent of the youth comprise the electorate. In their hands will lie the future of our country,” she remarked.

Toward the end of the program, Citi Markets head and country treasurer Paul Favila said “for a trader, for a practitioner it is important to have perspectives, so that we can slowly peel away and hopefully get to the core of what is really important and what is really happening. That is our goal – not to impose our views – so that we can collectively come up with a proper decision which could contribute to each other’s success.”

‘Perspectives’ is a fresh approach to presenting the national and international market outlooks. Through different vantage points offered by Citi’s country and regional analysts along with senior resource speakers invited by Citi, this briefing guides and enriches the business analysis and planning conducted by Citi clients.

According to the treasurer of the PLDT Group Leo Posadas, “Citi’s forum was timely scheduled after the CNY headlines brought volatility to EM markets. The session provided relevant and apt information to help us strategize and respond to market changes in an appropriate manner.  The relevance of topics also help us corporates as we prepare for the start of our annual budget exercise in the coming weeks.”

Veronica So, Liquidity and Treasury Operations head of Globe Telecoms said: "The discussions were relevant and useful as we assess the financial risks brought about by the recent developments in China and the forthcoming elections."

For Alaska Milk’s AVP of Treasury Rela San Juan: “The briefing presented a timely and comprehensive analysis of the state of the Philippine economy and its near-term prospects considering the current volatility in regional and global markets. The economic report was informative without being too technical while the political commentary gave some useful insights about the impact of the 2016 elections on the country’s growth and stability.”

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