GMA HAILS MERRILL  LYNCH'S  UPGRADING  OF  RP'S  ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

MANILA, October 29, 2005
 (STAR) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed Friday the latest advisory of the prestigious financial and investment rating agency Merrill Lynch upgrading the economic outlook for the Philippines for next year to "overweight" status.

"I’d like to thank the Lord that Merrill Lynch has just upgraded the Philippine ratings to overweight," the President said in her speech in Mandaluyong City.

The Chief Executive quoted some of the highlights of the Merrill Lynch report, particularly the portion saying "the fiscal outlook for the Philippines appears stronger for 2006."

On the political front, the ML report noted that despite the continued political turmoil, " President Arroyo’s position looks secure," while the economic fundamentals are improving with positive prospects for economic growth.

Inspired by the report, the President reiterated her vow to pursue economic and financial reforms along with strengthening the delivery of social services to the people.

"We will seize this opportunity to redirect the focus of government so that its bureaucracy will be more responsive to the call of the times," she said.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides capital markets services, investment banking and advisory services, wealth management, asset management, insurance, banking and related products and services on a global basis.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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