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Foreign investments in PH seen exceeding $6B.

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry expects the country's net foreign direct investments (FDIs) to have exceeded $6 billion in 2014 as the country was able to sustain heightened investor interest in domestic business opportunities.

Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo made the forecast as he noted that the country's FDIs already stood at $5.3 billion as of endOctober last year, up 64 percent from $3.2 billion in the same period in 2013. This was despite the 24percent decline seen in the value of investment commitments approved by the Board of Investments and the marginal 1.2percent increase in the value of pledges approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) last year.

Domingo added that the Philippines continued to enjoy a rosy economic picture, which he said he hoped would be enough to convince representatives from international debt watcher Fitch Ratings to raise the rating given to the country back in 2013.

The Philippines is rated by Fitch at its minimum investment grade or a notch behind the ratings given the country last year by the two other major rating agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Standard and Poor's.

According to Domingo, he was meeting with Fitch Ratings to also find out what was holding the debt watcher back from raising the country's investment grade rating.

"I have yet to meet them but I want to ask them what else they needed to see for them to upgrade [our ratings]. I will ask them what else is their concern about our economic growth because for me, the country's economic picture remains very rosy. I want to know what else we need to correct because they're the only one who has not given us an upgrade," Domingo explained.

Last year, Fitch only affirmed the Philippines' "investment grade" status, citing the country's strong macroeconomic fundamentals. It noted then that the outlook for the Philippines' sovereign debt rating was "stable," which meant the country's grade would likely stay where it has been for the next 12 to 18 months, a statement earlier said.

Fitch's BBB grade for the country's longterm foreign and local currency IOUs was the firm's minimum "investment grade" rating.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 3, 2015
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