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Chapter | Capital Markets from The Report: Philippines 2019

One of the oldest stock exchanges in Asia, the Phil¬ippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is delivering robust returns. In the decade leading up to 2018 there were more years of gains than losses, with the 2009-14 period showing six consecutive years of expansion. Reinforcing the underlying trend, during the first few months of 2019 the PSE index began a slow and steady climb, up from 7466.02 points at the end of 2018 to 7859.78 points near the end of August 2019. The period ahead should see more listings on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange as the public infrastructure drive gathers pace, giving investors a comparatively less volatile means of investment in the Philippines’ capital markets. This chapter also contains interviews with Ramon S Monzon, President and CEO, Philippine Stock Exchange; and Lynette Ortiz, CEO, Standard Char¬tered Bank Philippines.

Chapter | Banking from The Report: Philippines 2019

With strong capitalisation and credit growth on the back of robust GDP figures and falling inflation, the Philippine banking sector now faces a year in which consolidation of gains and expansion into new demographics are on the agenda. The country continues to be well served by a variety of lenders, with universal and commercial banks supplemented by a wide array of thrift banks, rural and cooperative banks, and other microfinance institutions. Innovations in financial technology (fintech) are bringing banking to many more Filipinos via technological devices, while acting as a disruptor to traditional banking methods. There is increasing focus placed on smaller lenders as they gradually embrace fintech in a bid to extend their reach to unbanked and underbanked populations. This chapter also contains interviews with Benjamin E Diokno, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Nestor Tan, President and CEO, BDO Unibank; and Cezar Consing, President, Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Chapter | Trade & Investment from The Report: Philippines 2019

The Philippines is a key bridge between the Americas and Asia, making it a natural conduit for global trade flows. The country also has some of the strongest eco¬nomic growth rates in the Asia-Pacific region, with growth at 6% or more for 16 out of the 20 quarters between 2014 and March 2019. The nation will continue to have considerable demand for imports as major public infrastructure projects are rolled out and industries expand and move towards higher value-added products. Demand for intermediate goods, as well as building materials and finished prod¬ucts, is therefore high. At the same time, insufficient upstream output of oil, gas and coal means that energy imports are also growing as the economy expands. This chapter also contains interviews with Charito Plaza, Director-General, Phil¬ippine Economic Zone Authority; and Allard Nooy, CEO, InfraCo Asia.

Chapter | Regions from The Report: Philippines 2019

With some 175 ethnolinguistic groups spread across the vast archipelago of the Philippines, uniting remote regions and distinct communities under a national identity has been a challenging task for the central government. Political power gradually became concentrated in the present capital Manila under Spanish and US colonial regimes, and the notion of a strong central government was embraced by many of the initial post-colonial administrations. However, the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991 transferred more power to local government units. In order to promote development, resolve lingering tensions and attract investment in the regions, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to gain support for constitutional reform to establish a federalist system of government that hands more autonomy to the regions. This chapter also contains an interview with Vince Dizon, President and CEO, Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

Chapter | Country Profile from The Report: Philippines 2019

Spanning more than 300,000 sq km, the Republic of the Philippines reaches from Taiwan in the north to Indonesia in the south. The Philippines is the fourth-largest country in South-east Asia in territorial size and is home to some 175 ethnolinguistic groups across over 7000 islands. In terms of population, it has the 13th-largest population in the world and the seventh largest in Asia. According to the UN, the population reached 107.4m in the first quarter of 2019. Income inequality and uneven growth are problems that need addressing if the country is to escape the middle-income trap, with poverty incidence among Filipinos in the first quarter of 2018 estimated at 21%. This chapter also contains interviews with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; and Teodoro L Locsin, Secretary, Depart¬ment of Foreign Affairs.

Chapter | Table of Contents from The Report: Philippines 2019

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