by: Allen Robert M. Adecer


The Money Market Association of the Philippines held its first General Membership Meeting for 2016 last April 5 at the Ballroom 2, Raffles and Fairmont Makati. Apart from the traditional induction ceremonies for the incoming officers and new members of the association, MART used the event as a platform to share the upcoming regulations and reforms for the Philippine financial market in 2016. To achieve this, MART invited experts to share their views and opinions on the upcoming national elections and its effects on the Philippine economy. Aptly, the incoming MART President, Mr. Raul Martin A. Pedro shared the plans for 2016 guided by MART’s theme for the year: “MART@45: Taking Leadership in an Evolving Marketplace.” The President stressed the importance of MART being at the forefront in pushing for financial market reforms and the need to be proactive in order to stay relevant. Among the reforms which the President highlighted were: a) implementation of the Interest Rate Corridor by the BSP; b) establishment of the local repo market; c) new regulatory requirements particularly on the Liquidity Coverage Ratio and High Quality Liquid Asset;  and d) other initiatives such as the OIS market and Single Price Convention.


The discussion of the guest panellists were equally interesting as it centered on the topic of elections and the financial markets. The first panellist, Mr. Conrado R. Banal who is a well know columnist from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, talked about the election and politics in the Philippines. He observed that historically, presidential elections in the country have typically been a battle between popularity and machinery and more often it was the latter that spelled the driving difference for a candidate winning the election.


The second speaker, Ms. Luz L. Lorenzo who is a well- respected economist from ATR Kim-Eng Securities, talked about the correlation between historical financial market performance during election years and non-election years. Ms. Lorenzo noted that there are certain observable improvements in the PSEi particularly in certain equity stocks such as Jollibee, SM Prime, and ABS-CBN during an election year,  however these improvements are merely short term aberrations and tend to correct in the medium term, debunking any long term correlation between elections and financial market performance.


The third speaker, Mr. Emilio S. Neri, Jr. who is another well-known and respected economist, talked about the importance of choosing a President who will guide the economy to another breakthrough path. He also stressed  that equally important is the appointment of a new Central Bank Governor who will spearhead the implementation of macro-economic policies that will influence the economic trajectory of the Philippines in the years to come beyond the term of the current president.


With the looming new reforms in the financial markets and the perceived uncertainties brought about by the upcoming elections, it was the goal of the MART officers to put forward relevant topics that will give the MART members a renewed perspective. Even with another successful event in its belt, MART continues to be proactive in furthering market reforms in the country with the view of upgrading local markets to global standards, helping its members cope with the changing environment, assisting regulators in formulating relevant policies, and to improving transparency and market best practices for the investing public.