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Sweet Spot For The Philippines

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While many emerging market economies have suffered during the global slowdown, the Philippines has been well insulated in a cocoon of decreasing debt, strong growth and increasing interest for both portfolio investors and foreign direct investment. The Philippines' banking sector is flush with liquidity; the loan-to-deposit rate is very low so the banks are not relying on wholesale funding. In addition, remittance remain strong despite the fact that a large proportion comes from the Filipino population in the US. The Philippine economy is also helped by a decreasing budget deficit. The current account surplus has grown, hitting $7 billion last year. Although it may shrink, some believe it will still be strong this year. The Philippines has really come back on the radar of portfolio investors and international investors, Nicholas Bibby, regional economist at Barclays Capital, says, but it is a work in progress.

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