MANILA, Philippines—Senator Benigno Aquino III remains the choice of local and foreign investors as the presidential candidate who can best promote a stable investment climate, according to the latest investor survey of Dutch financial giant ING Bank.
But sentiment for Aquino’s cousin, administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro, is sharply gaining, according to the 1st Quarter 2010 ING Investor Dashboard Survey, released Wednesday.
Based on the results of the survey, the top three presidential candidates that are seen to be most acceptable to investors are: Aquino (37 percent), Teodoro (28 percent) and Sen. Manuel Villar (23 percent).
Aquino maintained his 37-percent preference share from the previous ING survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009.
However, Teodoro showed a sharp increase in investor preference in the latest survey, up from 17 percent in the previous quarter.
Conversely, Villar, the self-made billionaire who built a fortune from property development, dropped 7 points from the 30 percent he registered in the previous survey.
Based on the survey results, Filipino investors want the next president to prioritize economic policies, and those policies that promote education and trade relations.
The survey also showed that 40 percent of investors in the Philippines, both domestic and foreign, expect the May elections to positively impact the economy and their investment portfolios.
However, the same proportion of investors (40 percent) are not sure whether the effect of the elections will be positive or negative, a slight increase from 33 percent in the previous survey. This was attributed to the closely fought 2010 presidential race and the varying economic policies of the candidates.
When asked what policy programs the next president should prioritize in order to improve the investment climate in the Philippines, the investors’ top three choices were: The economy (79 percent), education (54 percent) and trade relations (48 percent).
The latest quarterly ING survey showed the Philippine index remaining on the “optimistic” zone for the third consecutive quarter, climbing to 139 in the first quarter of 2010 from 134 in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The Philippine index has been moving up since bottoming at 89 when the global financial crisis hit in the first quarter 2009. –Doris Dumlao, Philippine Daily Inquirer