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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                        31  August 2011

Investment fund likes Philippines

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The biggest pension fund in the United States said it hiked by a fourth its investments in the Philippine stock market in the first five months of the year, tracking the global movement of foreign money from developed to emerging markets.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) said it had US$60.8 million invested in public equity in the Philippines at end-May, 26 percent higher than the $48.17 million placed in companies listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange during the same period in 2010.

At end-November 2010, CalPERS, which had assets totaling $239.2 billion at end-April, had investments worth $72.4 million in the Philippines.

“Some of the change between November 30 and May 31 may be due to market valuations and/or discretionary decisions about allocations by our investment officers and external managers,” said Clark McKinley, CalPERS investment officer.

From nine companies at the end of its fiscal year in 2009, CalPERS’ investments in listed Philippine companies increased to at least 19 last year. The fund retained its investments in Ayala Corp., Ayala Land Inc., and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Megaworld Corp., Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co., SM Investments Corp., and SM Prime Holdings.

New investments were made in Aboitiz Power Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Energy Development Corp., Filinvest Land Inc., First Gen Corp., First Philippine Holdings Inc., Jollibee Foods Corp., Manila Electric Co., Manila Water Co. Inc., Petron Corp., Robinsons Land Corp., and Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc.

CalPERS allocated funds in the Philippines and other emerging markets through internal programs and external managers.

“We give them dollar commitments and investment policy guidelines and let them decide where the money goes from there,” McKinley said.

In 2006, CalPERS raised its rating of the Philippines, placing it above China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in terms of the countries where it invests.


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