Monday, January 13, 2014

Since its debut in the Philippines, the performance of the First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange-Traded Fund (First Metro ETF) has steadily risen, matching the upward trend of the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi).

“The performance of the First Metro ETF has grown immensely over the past year. When it was listed on the PSE, its net asset value per share (NAVps) was at 99.41. On its anniversary date on Dec. 2, it posted a year-to-date return of 25.94% with a NAVps of 118.67. This has caught the investing public’s attention. The growing number of investors in the first-ever, and so far the only, exchange-traded fund in the country is a reflection of the investing public’s demand for new and exciting financial products that suit their needs,” said Gonzalo Ordoñez, president of First Metro Securities Brokerage Corporation, the market maker and one of the authorized participants of the First Metro ETF.

The First Metro ETF offers an investment option that allows a collective investment scheme to be traded in the PSE. Designed to track the performance of the PSEi, it is a cost-efficient way of diversifying a portfolio, allowing investors access to a broader market at lower expense ratios.

“Despite the disasters that hit the country in the last quarter of 2013, the Philippine economy showed resiliency for the greater part of 2014. The stock market elevated, with price-earnings ratio of 19x, the world’s second highest next to India. The Philippine sovereign rating was also upgraded to Baa2 from Ba3 by Moody’s. These economic indicators buoyed up the First Metro ETF, making it one of the top performing equity-asset classes in the market. With the increase in government spending this year, made more compelling by the presidential elections in 2016, we expect the PSEi to hit the 8,500 mark, propelling the index-tracking First Metro ETF to mirror this upward movement,” said Roberto Juanchito Dispo, president of First Metro Investment Corporation, the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group and the fund sponsor of the First Metro ETF.

“First Metro is privileged to be the first institution in the country to launch and list the exchange-traded fund in December 2013. As investors – whether institutional or retail – grow and mature, they will be hungrier for more products that cater to their financial goals. Right now, we are studying the possibility of launching other kinds of ETFs such as Consumer Index ETF and Peso-denominated S&P ETF. First Metro, true to our thrust and advocacy to be the prime mover in the development of the Philippine capital markets, will continue to introduce new investment products for the benefit of the Philippine investors,” Dispo added.