Philippines is poised to become the first Asian equity market to crawl back from a bear market this year, rising 20 percent from its closing low reached on Jan. 21.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 1.3 percent to 7,304.79 in Manila, set for the highest close since Oct. 27, as SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. paced gains. A 20 percent gain from the low at the close of the day is considered by many to be a bull market.
Other benchmark indexes in Asia are close behind Manila, as emerging markets recover from a 22 percent drop from a November peak. Taiwan and Indonesia benchmark indexes are up 19 percent from last year’s lows, while Thailand equities have jumped 13 percent from a January low. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is up 19.5 percent after reaching a nearly seven-year low in January.
Overseas investors have bought $151.2 million of Philippine shares this month, poised to end 11 months of withdrawals that saw them pull a record $2.39 billion. Filipinos will go to the polls on May 9 to elect the replacement of President Benigno Aquino, who is limited to a single six-year term that ends June 30. Aquino boosted growth in Southeast Asia’s fifth-largest economy as he raised taxes and increased infrastructure spending to a record.