HSBC: BSP may defer rate hikes until Q3 2019

By Kris Crismundo

June 6, 2018, 9:36 pm

MANILA -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may leave key policy rates unchanged until the third quarter of next year, HSBC Private Banking Managing Director and head of Investment Strategy and Advisory for Asia Fan Cheuk Wan said Wednesday.

In a media roundtable here, Fan said the BSP is expected to delay hiking policy interest rates after the May inflation data suggests tempering of price pressures in the coming months.

“We think the BSP will stay on hold,” she said.

“Latest rhetoric from BSP also indicate the reluctance of the central bank to turn hawkish,” she added.

This was also echoed by First Grade Finance, Inc. President and Managing Director Astro del Castillo.

“Considering that it’s within the levels that they expected, the measures taken by BSP is adequate enough. I don’t think there’s higher pressure for them to hike interest rates,” del Castillo told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview.

Government data released on Tuesday showed that inflation rate last month rose 4.6 percent, which is 0.1 percent higher from April’s rate of 4.5 percent.

Last May 10, the central bank hiked key rates by 25 basis points, which BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. described as being in “a timely manner” to “avoid the necessity of further stronger action down the road." (PNA)