JP MORGAN CHASE & CO SET TO REVIVE LOCAL STOCK BROKERAGE IN RP

MANILA, June 26, 2005
 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG) The bullish outlook of American banking giant JP Morgan Chase & Co. on the Philippine economy solidly means that investorsí confidence has not waned despite the current political noise in the country.

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said today JP Morgan Chaseís plan to expand its business in the country "speaks not only of our economic reform agenda but is also an affirmation of the integrity" of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

JP Morgan Chase is set to revive its local stock brokerage unit that was shut down in 1997 during the Asian financial crisis and will put up before the year ends an onshore call center facility to support its US retail operations.

"This should inspire us to focus more intensely on the reforms we have started despite all-out efforts by the Presidentís detractors to malign her person and office," the Press Secretary said.

The global financial services firm chair for Asia-Pacific Ralph Parks has said the bankís commitment to the country was "for the long haul and was not in any way shaken by the looming political tension."

The firm has been doing business in the country for the past 44 years and it finds the Philippines a profitable enterprise, Parks said.

The first phase of the Presidentís economic reform agenda has been completed with the passage by Congress of vital revenue-generating measures, including the expanded value added tax law, that would increase revenue collection.

Revenue collections for the months of April and May posted an all-time high, enabling the country to post a much lower than expected budget deficit.

The Arroyo government is set to implement Phase 2 of its economic reform agenda, which include the delivery of enhanced basic services--better education and health services, and infrastructures--with funds raised through the new revenue measures.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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