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Natural Disasters and the Philippine Stock Exchange Index: A Garch-M Analysis by Adrian P. Gallido, Ph.D. and Martites A. Khanser, D.B.A

This study examines the effect of earthquakes, tropical cyclones and volcanic eruptions on the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) over the period of 2 January 1985 to 30 December 2010. In the context of the Philippine Market, the composite index can be seen to support the “gaining from loss” hypothesis of Shelor et al. (1990), where it was implied that stock prices are positively influenced by disasters. The losses derived from disasters contribute to gains in some business sector.

For instance, the 1989 California earthquake can be viewed as unfavorable to real estate firms (Property index) but, in contrast, beneficial on the stock price of insurance firms. The negative response of the stock prices on real estate firms was regarded as indication of the unfavorable location of the properties. In contrast, the positive market response on the stock price of insurance firms was considered likely due to investor expectations of higher demand for property-liability insurance-related products.

I’ve also learned that there are criteria of events to be considered a disaster, According to Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), an event is considered a disaster when it meets at least one of the ff. criteria: i) 10 or more people are killed; ii) 100 or more people are affected; iii) a state of emergency is declared; iv) a call for international assistance was made.

A good point on this study that I’ve also learned is that the future work can also consider other events including technological disasters as well as disasters of human origin such as terrorism (man-made disaster).

In my own opinion, since investors sell shares at the slightest hint of anything that might impact stocks negatively, and that pushes the stock market down. The reverse is also true— the good news is, the demand for stocks is higher and it motivates shareholders to buy. And as for the effect of natural disaster on the stock market, specifically, I think investors fear, at least in part, that when our country broadcasts or announces some disaster, it will contribute huge sums of money and manpower to disaster aid, and it places a strain on our economy.

Overall, Disasters have an insignificant effect on market returns and investors can consider including market movements in measuring the impact of natural disasters, and can come up with disaster-based strategies.

This is an interesting study for those who wanted to invest or other stakeholders such as investors to be aware of the extent disasters that can affect market performance for us to make appropriate steps to better manage our portfolio and to be ensured if the market is doing good, resilient or strong.

Alissa L. Munez
Dr. Trinidad
MBA- Colegio de San Juan de Letran
Portfolio Management

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The Study of Relationship between Asian Stock Exchanges and New York Stock Exchange by Neda Bashiri, Amir Mohammad Zadeh

This study investigates the linkages between equity markets of 5 Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Turkey and those in USA employing correlation analysis and Vector Auto Regressive (VAR). The study of relationship between ASE and NYE gives knowledge of the degrees of relationship and co-movement among international financial markets that can help both individual and corporate investors to manage their portfolios for maximizing their risk and return trade-off. Also, co-movements between two countries can affect the pattern of the economy.

It was learned that the time series are correlated and correlation between markets is positive, which tends to indicate that there is common trend/factor that is driving the markets in the same direction. According to the result in one of this study, the US was found to be the most exogenous. These results are achieved for Asian Markets, USA and Indonesia influence Malaysia. USA also influences Turkey. The Philippines are affected by Malaysia, Indonesia, and USA while Indonesia is affected by Malaysia and the Philippines, while Japan is affected by Malaysia and the USA. This study can help investors to look out for the movement or changes in different financial markets all over Asia.

It was learned that there is no stock exchange that can affect the USA stock exchange but actually NYSE influences all developed markets. The explanation for the US is the fact that it is the largest and most dominant market in the world. One of the ideas for this study originates from the fact that globalization is an important trend. Substantial involvement of globalization for the financial markets comes form the Modern Portfolio Theory, which allowed all international investors to diversify globally in order to reduce their portfolio’s risk level to a level lower than their home country’s systematic risk level.

In this study, Mentalities causes a great factor on the effect of the movement of the stock market, it was characterized by a lack of individuality, causing people to think and act like the general/major population in the world. Because of this mentality, investors become sensitive regarding on the news of financial crisis in USA and they quickly pull out from financial markets. However, this does not necessarily mean developments in other markets should be completely ignored. Though, this is a great study that we learned the relationship between ASE and NYSE. And learned that the USA returns is a dominant market that influences most markets. Alissa L. Munez

Have Filipino Households Become Less Prudent? By Akiko Terada-Hagiwara

It’s an interesting study to know why the average household saving rate in the Philippines declined by 5.2 percentage points to about a mere 5 percent disposable income from 1996-2006. By presenting the article based on Surveys, Decomposition Analysis and Estimations it shows the declining savings rate has been due to the reduced precautionary motives as partly expected by development such as the expansion of social security system. I agree that the slow moving income growth is magnified by more extensive coverage of the system to the informal sector employees, which appears to have reduced households’ precautionary savings.

According to this article, a number of factors are relevant in affecting the precautionary motive of the Filipino households. First, the Philippines’ Social Security System developed significantly during the 1990’s. Existing studies found that the coverage by social programs, such as disability insurance, unemployment insurance and health insurance is negatively associated with savings. In 1988, only less than half of the Filipino workers were covered by the system. The system now covers 3 out of every 4 workers (75%). This expanded coverage of the SSS implies a reduce need for the younger cohorts to accumulate precautionary savings.

I agree with the writer that the demographic factors do not fully explain the declining timesaving rate profile because it was more associated with the changing precautionary motives of Filipino households. The precautionary saving was strong in 1990s when the coverage of SSS is still limited. However, the precautionary motive does not seem to be present in the 2000s. The less prudent behaviors are found to be significant with households with informal sector jobs, but only in the 2000s validating the extended SSS being the major factor affecting the Filipino households’ savings behavior. Moreover, this impact is found particularly strong with lower income households in 2000s.

Just to add another reason why Filipino households’ savings rates declined is our poor spending habits; we wanted to have the latest gadgets and anything that is trending. As for our OFW’s, when they go home for vacation, they spend like a one day millionaire and go back to abroad to earn money and just to repeat the cycle. Also, the Lack of Financial Knowledge, we know that Finance is a very complicated subject. I believe that we should start to invest in our knowledge. And if you ask most Filipinos about where their savings are, most of them will tell you that they keep their money in the Bank. Only few of us know about investments on stocks or mutual funds. Alissa L. Munez

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Dynamic Correlation between stock prices and exchange rates by Chin-Hao Lee, Shuh-Chyi Doong and Pei-J Chou

This article is interesting because it examined the interaction between stock price and exchange rate and explored their dynamic correlation influenced by the stock market volatility.  The correlation between stock market and foreign exchange market is affected by the stock market volatility. The correlations become higher in Asian emerging countries except in the Philippines when their stock market is volatile. I agree with the writers that this study is particularly important for international investors and managers in diversifying their strategies for improving their investment performance because the correlations between stocks and foreign exchange markets become higher while the stock market volatility increases in Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, but not in the Philippines.

Moreover, based on the findings of this article, investors can hedge risk between stock and foreign exchange markets domestically when the domestic stock market is stable. Otherwise, when stock market becomes volatile, investors diversify their portfolios intentionally for hedging risk since the correlation between stock and foreign exchange rates becomes higher.

So it was learned that an international company would certainly be directly affected by currency fluctuations. They will often try to mitigate this with a hedge fund, so any losses they take on one-currency balances with gains on another.

I guess the stock price of a company is based on perceived value, not necessarily on the predicted value of their assets and relationships. However, as currency exchange rates are merely indications of the general state of an economy, an issue that would affect a product based company, might or might not show up as a fluctuation in the currency exchange. A financial services company is heavily influenced by exchange rates, but still, the perception of their value, would not immediately be affected.

1. Lean Branch Banking

Practice: We are now implementing Lean Branch Banking, where we eliminate “deposit slip, withdrawal slips and bills payment slips” for Over-the-counter transactions (cash and check deposit/bills payment, withdrawals).

For Deposit- Each deposit or bills payment shall be supported by a duly validated slip or transaction receipt. The customer, payor or representative shall confirm the completeness and accuracy of the deposit or bills payment accepted via the issuance of transaction receipt by signing on the transaction receipt.

For Withdrawal- a duly validated Withdrawal/Debit slip or transaction receipt shall support each withdrawal. The processing teller shall ensure the completeness and accuracy of the posted withdrawal. Any alteration on the withdrawal/Debit slip shall be signed FULL by the customer.

This was implemented to improve customer experience on making deposit, bills payment or withdrawal by shifting to a paperless process.

Recommendation: The Lean Branch Model that was implemented in our company was great but unlike other Banking institutions that provide this kind of services, they use a more systematic and enhance technology. Where clients can be more responsible on doing their own banking transactions. I’ve observed that the implementation of the company’s Lean Branch Banking really improves customer experience because clients just wait their numbers to be called and just dictate their account numbers and amount they need to deposit or to withdraw. The only thing that they will do is to wait and to confirm their transaction before they sign the slip.

But there are many instances of misposted transactions or wrong transactions that was overlooked by the teller and was signed by the client. The client did not check his/her transaction and just sign the slip. If not properly handled, such error may result to financial and reputational risk of the bank. So I suggest that, since we’re implementing a Lean Branch Model we should update more on the system and provide queuing machines to the branches.

Where their clients could update their own passbooks, check their account balances, etc. inside the bank that can give knowledge on their clients and let them feel the Real Banking Experience. The bank should not limit technology just by providing an online banking transaction outside its branches but must also provide online banking transaction inside the branches. Since we are now in the modern era, where technology is more advance. We need to help one another to be familiarized on how to used this technology for faster, innovative and great banking experience.

2. Gold Members VS. Senior Citizens, PWD’s and Regular Clients

Practice: Gold Members are clients with VIP treatment who maintains their PHP100, 000 Average Daily Balance in the bank. They are given a priority queuing just like the senior citizens and PWD’s. There are times that the clients with priority queuing get inside the bank all at once. Because they know that they should be prioritized, they don’t get numbers for queuing and just go directly to the counter for their transaction.

Recommendation: Sometimes it just happened that your clients with priority queuing gets inside the bank all at once and will be disappointed if you will tell them to just wait for their turn because there’s a client with the same level of priority that transacts first. This kind of situations must be opened to meetings or huddles on the Quality Circle to mitigate the problem and to maintain the quality service the company wants to implement. There should be a certain person/employee to collect or to receive their transactions so that the process will be discreet by delivering the transaction to the processing teller and it will be delivered back to the client, without requiring the clients to get in line to be able to feel their privileges and importance in the organization.

3. Human Resources

Practice: In a branch, there’s limited employees that operates the system (4 employees per branch). There are times that the clients became disappointed on Long Lines, Long waits, etc. and they will notice the number of employees should be increased to give faster service. Since we know that management has a way on determining on how many employees that is needed in a branch to operate, it takes time to wait for a new hire employee that will be given on a certain branch.

Recommendation: Since the Company is implementing a Lean Branch Model; they will hire more competent persons to be trained, give sufficient workshops and seminars to help their employees to grow and to be ready on their assigned tasks. The Company must hire Auxiliary personnel to fill up the gap of a branch office and to prevent future complaints.

4. Trainings

Practice: To the Loyal employees of the bank who are working for several years in the company, they are sometimes familiarized on the Job they’re doing and since they almost know all about the operations and the systems of the bank, sometimes they’re having a hard time to understand the new system without the updated trainings and workshops.

Recommendation: Give employees the trainings and workshops they deserved especially for those who is working for the company for several years. This is the person who remains loyal to the organization and they must be given training on updated systems and operations.

5. Job Rotation/Employee Rotation

Practice: Because there are one-man employees inside the branch, employees are not given a chance to be familiarized on another job to be able to learn how the whole branch operates. There are some instances you need to learn to do another job because your co-worker is sick or you need to be assigned to another branch because there’s also a risk on being familiar or attached to our clients.

Recommendation: Job rotation can help employees be more productive. Rotation can raise worker morale because they get to try new jobs, so boredom and burnout are less of a problem. Sometimes employees may be less likely to call in sick, show up late or quit. Employees can also learn skills on one job that can be applied to another job, which helps them perform work more efficiently. This is why cross training increases productivity to the employees.


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