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Property stocks lead last week’s gainers

Vol. XXII, No. 1 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Monday, July 26, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PROPERTY STOCKS led by Ayala Land, Inc. and Megaworld Corp. were the market’s top gainers last week, advancing by 7.19%.

Ayala Land gained 7% to close at P9.10 after the company announced that the 42% growth it had posted for the first quarter would have likely continued in the second quarter.

"It is not surprising that Ayala Land [could have] maintained its earnings’ growth in the second quarter given that the property company has aggressively launched new projects this year," an analyst said.

He added that based on his forecast, the realty firm’s revenues for the second quarter would have stood at P7.28 billion, a quarter higher than a year earlier.

"The main driving force for the sales... will be the domestic market as it remains buoyant," the analyst said. Ayala Land shares shed 2.15% or 20 centavos to P9.10.

Meanwhile, Megaworld gained a quarter to end at P1.44 per share as investors scooped up gains from the undervalued stock, analysts said. Megaworld shares have been one of those hurt the most by bleak market sentiment. On Friday, the company lost 1.36%.

Among the banks, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. topped the list of gainers, adding 13% to close at P34.50 after opening six new branches in Metro Manila. "Renewed buying interest was noted during the week, triggered mainly by the softness in the crude futures market," the analyst said.

The main index shed 0.91% or 23.19 points to 2,512.72 on Friday after gaining for two consecutive days. — Kristine Jane R. Liu

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