IATF greenlights PH financial market ops

Philippine financial markets are set to re-open any day now after getting an exemption from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

In a joint statement released early Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEX), Philippine Depository & Trust Corp., and Philippine Securities Settlement Corp. suspended operations on Tuesday in line with government measures to counter a further rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

“In its meeting later today (Tuesday), the IATF granted the trading platforms' exemption from the enhanced quarantine measures after they assured the authorities that necessary safeguards to ensure the safety of their employees and the community they interact with are in place,” it said.

Asked when these market platforms would resume operations, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said this would depend on officials of these institutions.

“When they are able to,” Dominguez said in a Viber message to journalists late Tuesday.

On March 17, the Department of Health (DOH) reported two new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total for the country to 14.

Confirmed cases have risen to 187 while cases of recovery reached four.

Meanwhile, the BSP, in a statement on Tuesday night, said the auction for its term deposit facility (TDF), held every Wednesday, would be suspended this week and banks' placements in the TDF that are due to mature "will be credited automatically to their respective account balances."

"The cancellation of the scheduled TDF auction is intended to ensure adequate short-term peso liquidity conditions in the financial system and support the smooth flow of funding to businesses and households as enhanced quarantine measures are implemented in Luzon," the BSP said.

It also assured stakeholders that the overnight lending facility "will remain available to cover (the) temporary liquidity needs of BSP counterparties."

"The RRP (reverse repurchase) and overnight deposit facilities will likewise remain open to help counterparties manage their liquidity requirements," the BSP added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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