RP investor sentiment down 6% in Q1: survey

Published by rudy Date posted on April 17, 2009

Local investors are less confident about the country’s economic situation in the first three months of the year, saying it will neither get worse nor get better anytime soon, a survey revealed Thursday.

In its dashboard survey, global financial services group ING said Philippine investor sentiment stood at 89 from January to March 2009, a 6-percent drop from 95 in the previous quarter. It was also the lowest level for the country since the first quarter of 2003.

The Philippine index registered a 26-percent fall year-on-year. Still, it remained in the neutral category.

More than half (53 percent) of Filipino investors are worried about losing their jobs as a result of the economic downturn. As investor sentiment continues to move towards the pessimistic zone, the survey said a huge chunk of local investors chose to hold on to cash rather than invest in the second quarter of 2009.

The survey said an increasing number of investors believed that the US economy, credit crunch, and inflation, will have a huge effect on their future investment decisions. On the return of investments, more Filipino respondents expected a decline in the first quarter.

“As the impact of the global financial turmoil and economic crunch becomes more evident, majority of Filipino investors are continuing to be more cautious in their investments even as they believe the economic situation would not get any worse,” ING Bank Philippines Managing Director Cesar Zulueta in a statement.

Filipino investors have lost confidence in the telecom and technology industries, with both dropping to 43 percent and 42 percent, respectively. In the previous quarter, investors expected the telecom industry to grow 69 percent, while the technology sector was seen to rise to 58 percent.

Instead of telcos and technology, local investors are banking on the growth of the agriculture sector, with confidence for the industry showing a significant rise to 43 percent from 25 percent in the last three months of 2008.

Majority of Filipino investors (69 percent) viewed the current economic situation as a slowdown rather than a recession or depression, as believed by other Asian markets such as Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.

In the Pan-Asian region excluding Japan, overall investor index inched up to 85 from January to March, 16 percent higher than 73 in the fourth quarter last year. The ING survey attributed the growth to the strong upside in investor sentiment from China and India.

This is the first quarter-on-quarter increase for the region since the index was introduced in the third quarter of 2007, moving the index back to the neutral category from showing a pessimistic stance.

The ING investor dashboard is the first quarterly survey in the Asia Pacific region that has a Pan-Asia (excluding Japan) investor sentiment index.

The survey is conducted every three months across 13 markets in the Asia Pacific region, with investment sentiment scores ranging from 0 (most pessimistic) to 200 (most optimistic).–abs-cbnNEWS.com

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