Month: July 2022
Stock Market Weekly: Expect sideways trading with an upward bias
Just like last week, sideways trading is expected with an upward bias, especially with the upcoming rollback in fuel prices. In the US, the Fed may proceed with aggressive rate hikes because of rising inflation.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at 6,361.82, up by 196.47 points (3.18% week-on-week). A relief rally was observed at the start of the week driven by the pullback in commodity prices, i.e., oil and wheat prices. The announcement of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of a more aggressive rate hike—50 basis points (bps) in August 2022 and an additional 100 bps overall this year—buoyed investor sentiment. To recall, June 2022 inflation rose to 6.1% versus 5.4% in May 2022 and 3.7% in June 2021. Towards the end of the week, profit taking was observed as investors digested Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s comment that the economy will likely expand by a slower rate of 6.5%-7.5% this year versus the previous forecast of 7%-8%.
The US labor market added 372,000 jobs in June 2022 (consensus estimate: 250,000; 384,000 in May 2022). The job gains came from healthcare and social assistance (+77k) and professional and business services (+74k). The unemployment rate stood at 3.6% (consensus estimate: 3.6%; 3.6% in May 2022). The labor force participation rate came in at 62.2% (estimate: 62.4%; 62.3% in May 2022). Wage growth came in at 5.1% year-on-year (estimate: 5.0%; 5.2% in May2022).
Top index performers were Megaworld Corporation (MEG) up 11.1%, Universal Rufina Corporation (URC) up 9.6%, and Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) up 9.2%). Index laggards were Emperador (EMP) down 8.2%, International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICT) down 3.1%, and Wilcon Depot Inc. (WLCON) down 1.9%. The index breadth was positive with 22 gainers versus 7 losers. The average daily turnover value was PHP 4.6 billion. Foreigners were net sellers by PHP 1.4 billion.
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK
The market is expected to trade sideways with an upward bias amid the upcoming rollback in prices of fuel products ranging from PHP 5.0 to PHP 6.0 per liter, according to estimates from the Department of Energy (DOE). On the foreign front, investors will be closely monitoring the June 2022 US Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is expected to rise above May 2022’s 8.6% level, and could result in the US Fed going ahead with its aggressive rate hikes in the coming months.
STOCK PICKS FOR THE WEEK
BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) — BUY
We remain positive on the bank’s underlying performance in the next 12 to 24 months. This will be driven by the continued reopening of the economy, the rising interest rate environment, and high system liquidity, all of which should bode well for loan growth, asset quality, and net interest margins (NIMs). Accumulate shares once price breaks above PHP 123.00. Set cut loss below PHP 115.00. Take profits around PHP 135.00/140.00, and PHP 148 for long-term investors.
(Note: FirstMetroSec Research does not cover Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company)
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) — BUY
We maintain a positive outlook on the bank’s earnings for the next 24 months, on our expectations of high single-digit growth in loans, surge in net interest margins (NIMs) on rising rates, lower operational expenses because of its digital initiatives, and improvements in asset quality. Accumulate shares once the stock breaks above PHP 92.00. Set cut loss below PHP 85.00. Take profit at PHP 99-PHP 105.00.
(Note: FirstMetroSec Research does not cover Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company)
Monde Nissin Corp. (MONDE) — LIGHTEN POSITION
In an advisory dated June 9, 2022, from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the regulatory body is recalling a batch of Monde Nissin Corp.’s (MONDE) Lucky Me! branded instant noodles due to the presence of ethylene oxide, a pesticide not authorized for use in foods sold in the European Union (EU). MONDE clarified that ethylene oxide is not added in Lucky Me! products. It is commonly used in spices and seeds to control microbial growth typical in agricultural products. These materials, when processed into seasoning and sauces, may still show traces of ethylene oxide. MONDE added that the countries impacted are EU and Taiwan. Moreover, the company assured that all Lucky Me! products are Philippine FDA registered and that they comply with local and US food safety standards. Lighten positions on MONDE once it breaks below PHP 12.70.
PSEI TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
Resistance: 6,400 / 50-day Moving Average Price (MA)
The PSEi strongly rebounded last week, breaking above the 6,180 resistance level. The market also posted net foreign buying last Wednesday, the first in 22 sessions. However, the 6,400 level became a resistance level once again after the market failed to break above that level. The market has been on a downtrend since February 2022 and the 50-day MA remains to be a resistance. A further rebound is expected only once the PSEi breaks above the 50-day MA.
Continue setting stop limit orders. Slowly accumulate once the PSEi breaks above the 50-day MA (currently at 6,534).
KEY DATA RELEASES
Tue, July 12, 2022
– Philippine exports for May 2022 (estimate: 6.6%, 6.0% in April 2022)
– Philippine imports for May2022 (estimate: 23.5%, 22.8% in April 2022)
Wed, July 13, 2022
– US Consumer Price Index (CPI) year-on-year (estimate: 8.8%, 8.6% in May 2022)
Sun, July 17, 2022
– Overseas Filipino remittances year-on-year (estimate: 4.5%, 3.9% in April 2022)
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Discovering renewed creativity in retirement
Sometimes the artist in us comes out when we’re not preoccupied with all the things we used to do. We can take inspiration from Virginia Chua Uy, who, shortly after retiring, found time for a new passion.
What would you do when the rat race is won? Would you slowly walk out and be free?
Long after running the family business, or climbing the corporate ladder, what happens when retirement is at hand? Does one shift to the right-brain passions like art and music to put the creative juices to good use?
Vincent Van Gogh was somehow late into the game. He was more of an art dealer than an artist growing up, and got serious and picked up brushes only at the age of 28. Meanwhile, songwriter and two-time Grammy winner Bill Withers served in the US Navy before shifting to music at age 30. He didn’t release an album until he was 34.
“Butterfly on my mind.” Drawn by Ms. Virginia Uy at the lowest point in her life.
Van Gogh and Withers are of different genres and eras, but the imprint they left with “Starry Night” and “Lovely Day” made them and their works cultural icons to this day.
Indeed, anyone can learn new things and find an outlet to release or rekindle creativity even at the age of retirement.
Ms. Virginia Uy works on her first landscape.
This is how restaurateur cum painter Virginia Chua Uy, a Private Wealth client of Metrobank, makes use of her time these days. As a retired Human Resource head and interior decorator for Rosita’s, Inc. and Rosita’s Food, Inc., the humble and amiable owner of one of Cebu’s popular food chains finds herself immersed in a newfound love for painting.
Her employees describe her as a disciplinarian at work, but friendly and artistically expressive when it comes to her creative pursuits. We hunkered down with Ms. Uy to talk about her passion:
Each design is unique.
How did you get hooked into painting? Was this your passion growing up, or is this something new and exciting for you? What inspired you to take it up or rekindle your interest?
It started when we closed our restaurant business. I visited a friend who was painting. I wanted to do something I would enjoy outside dance. It was the first time I held a paint brush. I got interested and took up an eight-week course. I painted a beach scene on acrylic.
I kept going at it, painting various subjects and scenes. It got to a point that my teacher Cesar Castillo invited me to hold an exhibit, but I declined because of COVID.
Was I a natural? Was talent in my genes? I probably took it from my dad. He was into charcoal drawings, but also painted Chinese calligraphy using the Mopit brush.
My sister can also draw, and she makes dresses for her paper dolls.
Ms. Uy says the coco beads, leaves, plastic beads, metals, and straw that she uses in her artworks depict the multi-faceted nature of women.
What basic tools, skills and techniques got you started, and how have you progressed since then?
I started with acrylic on canvas. The Beach. I had finished at least 30 art works thus far and sold some already.
But I stopped temporarily when my husband passed away during the pandemic. I resumed shortly and started using butterflies as subjects.
But I have moved to other media as well. I painted on bags and sold many of those here in Cebu and in Manila. With the COVID outbreak, I now paint on face masks.
For those who want to take up their own creative pursuits, what advise can you give them?
We must learn every single day. Each day is a day for learning. We should not be afraid to learn. We learn from mistakes. We need to get back up. Life goes on.
I now paint with my niece. I like to teach her. I want to encourage kids.
I read the Bible and use God’s word for inspiration. My favorite chapter is Isaiah 54. It gives me strength.
Ms. Uy has become a prolific artist whose works that portray “freedom, release, peace”.
Finding renewed creativity in retirement is possible. Passion and inspiration are the key ingredients. This mother is no Monet, but her brush strokes are deliberate as she paints subjects that depict freedom and release: dancers, mermaids, sea creatures, fauna, and flora.
It is as if her hand at running the food business got better at a craft that is more inspiring, and the ability to release her newfound creativity fulfills her more than the occasional coin that her art brings to her brimming coffers.
Ms. Uy says she intends to paint more when she gets into the right mood. She intends to explore other media to inspire her audiences, as well as the Almighty who blessed her with her talents.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, as she finishes her next piece, singing:
“Just one look at you, and the world is alright with me.”
JOJO MARIANO is the head of Metrobank’s Private Wealth Division’s Support Department. He joined the Bank as a researcher immediately after graduation. He moved on to Planning and Oversight under the Strategic Planning Division, where he helped map the Bank’s strategic plan under four bank presidents. When not at work, Jojo likes to draw and write as an outlet, and is also into running, riding bicycles, and diving.
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Should I trade or invest?
There is a misconception going around that trading is investing. Well, not exactly. Knowing the difference may help you become a better investor, or even a trader, for that matter.
Let’s face it, we all have at least one friend on social media who shares his or her success through trading stocks, foreign currency, or cryptocurrencies over a short period of time. The humble brag is followed by an invitation to everyone to join him in his journey of trading these assets for a profit using investible cash.
When you are hooked with interest and ask him how, he proceeds to lecture you about how it is a waste of time to put your money in deposits, funds, UITFs (unit investment trust funds), insurance funds, and whatnot, and that trading is the best way for you to “invest”.
Then here comes the question, should you believe your friend and trade your hard-earned money for profit?
First, let’s restate the above scenarios to what is true.
- Investing should be a part of managing your finances.
- It is possible to earn a huge income through trading.
Remember your purpose
However, there is one truth that is oftentimes undermined: There is no one investing activity that fits everybody.
You see, trading is an investing activity, but it is not what defines the term “investing”. Trading is not the be-all of investing. It is the act of making short-term buy or sell transactions with the purpose of selling or buying the same at a profit – buy low, sell high over a short period of time. Trading can give you a huge payout if you have correct calls consecutively, but it can also lead you to a huge loss of principal if you repeatedly make the wrong calls.
On the other hand, investing is a purpose-driven action where you put your money to work in response to your unique, individual monetary needs. These needs are distinct and incomparable in totality, no matter how similar you are to individuals in terms of personality, state of living, etc. Trading is simply a type of investing activity.
Which ROI do you want?
For example, Edison and Ron have been best friends since the first grade. They lived in the same community and went to the same school. They both have PHP 100,000 in each of their accounts. Edison takes up a trading position and grows his money to PHP 120,000, or a return on investment of about 20%.
He immediately hounds Ron to join him in trading, saying that the activity is easy to learn and that he can have that same 20% return on investment, or ROI. Should Ron? Well, to be honest, he could. But he must consider all his needs first. The thing is that Ron already has a 6-year-old daughter. He needs the PHP 100,000 to pay for her school fees over the next six months.
While trading activities may give Ron a huge payout, he is also putting his capital at risk. His trading calls to buy or sell may turn out wrong (i.e., he decided to buy, and the stock price fell, or he decided to sell when the stock price turned positive).
Consider the risks
Trading could work very well for Edison, who can spare cash for losses, but it may not work as well for Ron, who may need the money soon. If the trading call goes wrong and Ron’s principal falls by 50%, he’ll have a headache. He won’t be able to pay for his daughter’s tuition.
It turns out that a six-month time deposit would suit him better, given his current needs. The returns may be boring compared to what trading may or may not bring, but at least he has the principal ready when he needs it the most.
You see, trading is not bad. Trading is not gambling if you do your homework, if you do your own research before making investment decisions. Consider your investment PATH (Purpose of your fund, Appetite for risk, Time horizon, and other Hurdles).
Do the work
If you can afford a long waiting game and have the willingness and capacity to take bigger risks, then you can have a bigger trading position. Otherwise, it would be better to take a moderate stance when investing.
Trading requires discipline. It shuns greed. It entails humility to accept when you are wrong, take the losses, and start over. It comes with the responsibility to do your homework in order to understand what and why you buy and sell. It requires effort, but it’s necessary work that will save you from gambling.
DON CARLO P. HERNANDEZ, CFA, is Metrobank’s Head of Portfolio Strategy and Advisory Division under the Trust Banking Group. He leads the research, credit, and portfolio solutions team in providing a strategic point of view regarding the investment efforts of the whole group. He advocates for financial literacy and inclusion, especially for the young and unbanked. He is an old soul and a music junkie who listens to Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé. He also enjoys spending his free time resting under a tree.
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Does the BSP need to keep up with the Fed?
Some have lamented the central bank’s seemingly timorous approach to its monetary policy. If the US Federal Reserve has turned aggressive, shouldn’t the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas be the same? Not necessarily.
To curb inflation, central banks raise interest rates to reduce the amount of money circulating in the economy and increase the cost of borrowing. This then makes people borrow less and spend less, reducing economic activity that helps cool down an overheating economy, i.e., cooling down demand inflation.
In light of this, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) used contractionary monetary policy to hike the Fed funds rate by 75 basis points (or 0.75 percent) to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% this June, its biggest rate hike since 1994. This is in response to the staggering 8.6% US inflation rate in May 2022, the highest since December 1981.
Compared to the Philippines, which experienced 5.4% inflation in May 2022, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has so far hiked key rates (called overnight repurchase or RRP rates) by 50 basis points – 25 bps in May and another 25 bps in June – to bring the RRP rate to 2.50%. With more aggressive Fed rate hikes expected, is there a need for the BSP to also hike rates aggressively in the coming months?
Inflation in the Philippines is more food-driven than in the US; that is, the former’s food commodities have a higher weight in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 34.8% vs. the 13.37% for the US CPI. Additionally, the Philippines is highly dependent on food imports compared to the US.
For example, rice is around 9% of the CPI basket and there is heavy dependence on rice imports to keep supplies up and help keep prices down. Food inflation is therefore more critical for the Philippines than for the US.
On the other hand, US inflation is more energy-driven than the Philippines’, particularly now. This is because President Joe Biden reversed US energy policies in 2021 to tackle climate change. Before that, the US was a major oil exporter and could swing prices in global oil markets. But with the policy reversal, it eventually ended up being a price-taker, with the resultant high fuel prices, especially as the sanctions against Russia started to bite.
Taking a look at the chart, one can see that since 2021, a rise in the price of Brent crude has led to a dramatic increase in US inflation, way more than Philippine inflation. In previous episodes, Philippine inflation rose dramatically, well above the US inflation rate when Brent prices were peaking in 2008, between 2010-2014, and in 2018.
But this time around, US inflation has shot up way beyond Philippine inflation and it appears to still be upward bound as Brent started hitting USD 120 a barrel. The Philippines, on the other hand, is currently seeing inflation similar to 2011 conditions when Brent was peaking around the USD 120 levels as well, although of course there is also an upward bias.
Turmoil in the oil markets pushed US inflation far higher than it did Philippine inflation. That’s because US energy policies shifted their focus on renewable energy in 2021, when the thought of Russia invading Ukraine was considered highly unlikely.
The key takeaway here is that the US is now more vulnerable to energy prices peaking as proxied by Brent, and with inflation hitting past the 8% level and threatening to go double-digits, it is not surprising to see the Fed signaling very aggressive rate hikes on top of its recent hikes as it tries to tackle inflation.
For the Philippines, on the other hand, the situation resembles 2011 in terms of Brent oil and inflation rates, with an upward bias but still relatively tame compared to US inflation. It thus begs the question if aggressive rate hikes are warranted right now as they are for the US.
Of course, rate hikes are in the cards, which is why the BSP has been hiking rates and has signaled more rate hikes in the future. Clearly, however, there is no need to move in lockstep with the US Fed, if this chart is any indication.
ANNA ISABELLE “BEA” LEJANO is a Research & Business Analytics Officer at Metrobank, in charge of the bank’s research on the macroeconomy and the banking industry. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the University of the Philippines School of Economics and is currently taking up her Master’s in Economics degree at the Ateneo de Manila University. She cannot function without coffee.
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Stock Market Weekly: Market awaits inflation, unemployment data
We expect sideways trading this week with an upward bias. We will also know how much inflation has increased in June and whether more Filipinos have become unemployed.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at 6,165.35, falling by 52.51 points (down 0.84% week-on-week) as recession fears persisted and as the Philippine peso closed at 55.09 against the US dollar, a near 17-year low.
The local market traded higher at the start of the week along with most of its Asian peers amid bargain hunting, but fell subsequently. Investors factored in gloomy data releases including: 1) the lower consumer confidence data for June 2022 month-on-month for the US, South Korea, and Japan, 2) China’s June 2022 official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a measure of trends in manufacturing and services, and 3) Japan’s May 2022 industrial production, which came in lower than consensus estimates.
Lackluster market sentiment can be attributed to the lower S&P Global Philippine manufacturing PMI (53.8 in June 2022, 54.1 in May 2022) and the government’s decision to retain Alert Level 1 in the National Capital Region until July 15, 2022.
Top index performers were Universal Robina Corporation (URC), up 14.4%), Converge (CNVRG) up 13.2%), and AC Energy (ACEN) up 7.7%. Index laggards were Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) down 5.8%, Megaworld Corporation (MEG) down 5.4%), and BDO Unibank Inc. (BDO) down 4.8%. The index breadth was negative, with 13 gainers versus 17 losers. The average daily turnover value was PHP 4.9 billion. Foreigners were net sellers by PHP 2.3 billion.
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK
The PSEi is expected to trade sideways with an upward bias as the market remains close to oversold levels and as investors observe the first few days of Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s presidency. Investors will also be on the lookout for the country’s June 2022 inflation print (6.0% is the consensus estimate, while 5.7% – 6.5% is the estimate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, or BSP). On the international front, the US will have a shortened trading week as markets close for the fourth of July holiday today.
STOCK PICKS FOR THE WEEK
Megawide Construction Corp. (MWIDE) — BUY
The recent dismissal of the criminal case against select MWIDE directors and officers should lift the overhang and give way for investors to shift focus on the company’s fundamentals. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s earnings should recover as the economy further reopens. The construction business should also benefit from looser quarantine measures. Accumulate MWIDE once the share price breaks above PHP 4.00. Set stop limit orders below PHP 3.75 to protect capital. Take profit at around PHP 5.00 / PHP 6.80.
Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) — BUY
Valuations remain attractive as the stock is currently trading at 0.97x full year 2022 Forward Price-To-Book Value per Share, undemanding at one standard deviation below historical valuations. Accumulate once price breaks above PHP 20.50-PHP 20.90. Set stop limit orders below PHP 19.00 to protect capital. Take profit at around PHP 23.30 to PHP 24.00, and PHP 25 for long-term investors.
DITO CME Holdings Corp. (DITO) — LIGHTEN POSITION
DITO’s share price dropped out of a consolidation period, suggesting a continuation of the downtrend. The measured price target after DITO formed a diamond continuation pattern last April 2022 is PHP 2.90-PHP 3.30, according to Technical Insight, our automated chart pattern recognition program. Lighten position at around PHP 4.00 to PHP 4.10. The next support levels are at PHP 3.50 and PHP 3.00
PSEi TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
Resistance: 6,180 / 6,400
The 6,400 level proved to be a resistance last week after the PSEi failed to sustain its oversold rally. The market even dropped below its support level of 6,180 at the latter part of the week. That being said, the bears remain in control and a retest of 6,000 is in play.
Continue setting stop limit orders. The next support level is at 5,700.
KEY DATA RELEASES
1) July 5, 2022, Tuesday: Philippine CPI year-on-year for June 2022 (6.0% consensus estimate, 5.4% in May 2022)
2) July 7, 2022, Thursday: Philippine unemployment rate for May 2022 (5.7% in April 2022)
3) July 8, 2022, Friday: US change in nonfarm payrolls for June 2022 (274,000 consensus estimate, 390,000 in May2022)
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A strong dollar story: Peso plays “depreciation catch-up”
Did the peso depreciate much more than other ASEAN currencies against the US dollar? It seems the peso is just playing “depreciation catch-up” against the backdrop of a strong dollar.
The US Federal Reserve has been hiking its Fed Funds rate aggressively in the past few meetings, with the latest at 75 basis points (bps) and with further signals of another 50- to 75-bp hike this July, and more to come afterwards. The result is a renewed interest in US financial assets, which also generally translates to a strong dollar as investors buy dollars and sell whatever currencies they may have.
For the Philippines, this means a depreciating peso. As the chart below shows, the peso generally depreciates when the Fed Funds rate go up, and it appreciates when the Fed Funds rate comes down, at least trend-wise.
For example, in the period following the Great Recession of 2008, the effective Fed Funds rate came all the way down to near zero and, as a result, the peso generally appreciated all the way to 2013. On the other hand, between 2015 and 2019, the peso depreciated as the Fed Funds rate went up.
Market expectations drive the movement of the peso exchange rate.
However, there was a curious situation highlighted in the chart in 2013. It shows the peso actually depreciating way before the Fed actually started hiking rates in 2015. So, what gives? It turns out that the Fed started talking about tightening monetary policy in 2013 and, as a result, the peso depreciated.
So, it’s not just actual rate cuts or hikes that move the peso, but also market expectations of rate cuts or hikes. Therefore, market expectations of what the Fed will do is as important as what the Fed actually does, and these expectations actually move the exchange rate directly. The same was true in 2021, as market expectations of Fed hikes started to push up the peso and make it depreciate, even though the Fed actually started raising rates only this 2022.
It also appears that with the expected aggressive rate hikes, the markets are pricing in an even weaker peso, with the peso hitting the 55 level already, up from 51 at the start of 2022. However, currently, there is a bit of market noise on just how far up the peso is expected to weaken. In light of recent movements in other currencies, it might appear that the peso is weakening too much when looking at the recent past. However, when taking a look at a longer window, it can also appear that the peso in fact is just playing catch-up with the rest of the pack.
In this chart below, movements of the ASEAN currencies plus the yen are converted to an index based on January 2018. The overall changes relative to the base are then tracked for comparison. The 2018 base was chosen given that then, as now, there was high inflation for the Philippines.
It turns out that when tracked this way, the peso is not the currency that depreciated the most. Our ASEAN peers plus Japan have currencies that depreciated even more than the peso relative to 2018 prices.
The peso did not perform as badly as other ASEAN currencies as many may think. With high economic growth and strong imports, the peso is now playing “depreciation catch-up”.
It is perhaps not that relevant to ask whether the peso is leading the pack or is behind the pack in terms of depreciation given the different ways the observation window can be framed. Perhaps the real question should be, why did the peso appreciate too much in 2020 to 2021 relative to the pack?
That answer is simple; it’s because the country did not import that much during that period due to demand destruction and the lockdowns. However, OFW remittances and BPO revenues continued to come in and dominate the balance of payments, leading to peso strength. Our peers, on the other hand, are export- oriented, heavily dependent on the trade of goods (or tourism, in the case of Thailand) which, of course, collapsed due to the pandemic lockdowns. As a result, their currencies didn’t appreciate as much as the peso.
And because of that, the “base effect” is much more significant for the Philippines as the Fed started signaling rate hikes in 2021, completely reversing the trend. The peso is playing “depreciation catch-up” (with heightened base effects) with its peers as high economic growth, and thus, strong imports, are back in play.
Ah, yes, economic growth! With continuing growth, there will be more imports at higher inflated global prices, and the 3rd quarter is traditionally when imports are strongest. It should be expected that the peso will continue to weaken at this point.
When imports ebb by the 4th quarter and OFW remittances start to dominate once again going into the Christmas season, and with BPOs continuing to become even more competitive given the weaker peso, the peso should start getting appreciation pressure towards yearend. All the while, the Fed rate hikes will continue way into 2023. In the end, the call is still a weaker peso. After all, it’s still a strong dollar story.
MARC BAUTISTA, CFA, is Vice-President and Head of Research & Business Analytics at Metrobank, in charge of the Bank’s macroeconomic, industry, and financial market analysis and research. He loves teaching finance and investments, portfolio management, statistics, financial derivatives, economics, etc. in a university setting. He plays guitar in a rock band and loves learning other languages, especially Spanish, promoting its recovery as a heritage language in the Philippines.