Philippine central bank sees no urgent need to alter policy

World Wednesday 11/January/2017 16:55 PM
By: Times News Service
Philippine central bank sees no urgent need to alter policy

Manila: The Philippine central bank is ready to modify its monetary policy stance if needed, but sees no urgency to do it now, Governor Amando Tetangco said on Wednesday.
The central bank is "ready to act in case there is a need to modify" its stance, Tetangco told Reuters in an interview at his office.
"There are many moving parts in the environment. It is important we continue to monitor and assess the developments in terms of potential implication for Philippine inflation and growth," Tetangco said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has not tinkered with its monetary policy since it raised rates by 25 basis points in September 2014, with the Southeast Asian economy growing strongly and inflation low.
But it set the main rate at 3.0 per cent when it moved to an interest rate corridor framework in June last year to make policy transmission faster and more efficient.
Tetangco also reiterated that the central bank had enough policy tools to manage any volatility in financial markets and that it "will not go against the fundamental trend" of the Philippine peso currency.
When asked if he would accept President Rodrigo Duterte's offer to extend his tenure beyond the 12 years he soon would have served, the governor said: "That's a hypothetical question". Tetangco, whose current term ends in July, has been asked to serve another six-year term.
He only said that the "best candidate" to succeed him "should be someone with central banking background."
Some economists believe the central bank will have to raise rates this year as inflation edges higher.
Nomura said in a recent research note it expects a cumulative 50 basis points of hikes in the first half of 2017 and thinks it will be the only central bank in Asia to raise rates this year.