S&P: Recommend Investors switch away from Indonesia in favor of the Philippines! Why?

Both Indonesia and the Philippines have some weaknesses to overcome before they break into the investment-grade rating category but are making steady progress, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in a report.

"The positive outlook on Indonesia recognizes ongoing improvement in the government's balance sheet and the country's income metrics. A modest improvement in the country's political and policy dynamics, combined with Indonesia's other credit attributes, could lead to an upgrade," credit analyst Agost Benard said on Thursday.

The stable outlook on the Philippines indicates that risks to the ratings are balanced, S&P said.

"The Philippines has narrowed its fiscal deficits, lessened its reliance on foreign savings, and rationalized the public sector. A more conducive political setting has replaced the turbulent and obstructionist environment that prevailed for well over a decade."

Indonesia faces key rating constraints due to the perception that reforms have stalled due to a lack of policy initiatives. The abandonment of a planned electricity tariff rise, inability to cut fuel subsidies and a rising trade deficit has added to this view, it said.

A positive outlook on the Indonesia rating suggests at least a one-in-three chance of an upgrade, S&P said, adding there is more upward than downward pressure on the rating.

At 11.41 a.m (0441 GMT) the Indonesian index was up 0.32 percent, while the Philippines index was up 0.06 percent

STOCKS NEWS INDONESIA

StanChart cuts stocks outlook to 'underweight' Standard Chartered Equity Research lowered its outlook on the Indonesian equity market to 'underweight' from 'neutral' citing concerns over lower corporate margins as food prices rise and commodity prices remain under pressure.

"We forecast this trend to continue and recommend investors switch away from Indonesia in favor of the Philippines, which we believe is only halfway through the same four-year re-rating process that Indonesia experienced between 2006 and 2010," analysts Clive McDonnell and Benjamin Wong said in a note on Thursday.

Investors have been steadily decreasing exposure to the Indonesian market as they look to reallocate to markets with lower valuation risk as recovery expectations revive in Asia, the research unit said.

Standard Chartered also cut its Jakarta Composite Index 12-month target to 4,400 from 4,500. At 10.55 a.m (0355 GMT) the Indonesian index was up 0.28 percent, while the Philippines index was up 0.11 percent.

Continue reading here http://goo.gl/Xk0Zh (Reuters)

Reuters 

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