MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine shares closed higher Friday as bargain hunters continued to accumulate select blue chips ahead of the release of first-half corporate results in the coming weeks, traders said.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index ended up 6.43 points, or 0.4 percent, at 1,559.22, after moving 0.9 percent higher Thursday.
Blue-chip Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., or PLDT, was the most actively traded stock, up 20 pesos, or 1.7 percent, at 1,210 pesos, as investors continued to position ahead of the Aug. 3 release of what analysts expect to be favorable first-half numbers for the telecommunications group.
The 1.5 percent gain made by PLDT's American Depositary Receipts in New York Thursday also provided another impetus, traders said.
PLDT rival Globe Telecom rose 15 pesos, or 1.9 percent, to 825 pesos, also on expectations it will post strong second-quarter results.
On Thursday, Globe raised its 9.75 percent bonds due April 2012 by US$100 million, taking the new total outstanding to US$300 million, reflecting strong market demand.
UBS Investment Bank served as lead manager of the offering.
The issue garnered a Ba2 rating from Moody's Investors Service.
At the same time, Moody's affirmed Globe's Ba1 local currency senior implied and senior unsecured issuer ratings with stable outlook.
The ratings reflect, among others, a stable cellular industry structure with two dominant operators, one of which is Globe.
"Everyone is going into earnings mode,'' Citiseconline.com investment analyst Mark Alan Canizares told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Investors are accumulating the stocks (PLDT and Globe) in anticipation of strong second quarter earnings.
"Plus, in Asia, the Philippine telecom sector is one of the strongest and most profitable.''
The market's advance, however, wasn't broad based, with decliners leading gainers 33 to 23. There were 61 stocks unchanged.
Other active stocks included Manila Electric B, which fell 0.50 peso, or 1.7 percent, to 28.50 pesos, and Equitable PCI Bank, down 0.50 peso, or 1.3 percent, at 39.50 pesos. - AP
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