Election win for Philippines' Marcos shores up family-affiliated stocks

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Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, greets his supporters at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City
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By Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA (Reuters) - Share prices of Philippine companies linked to presidential election winner Ferdinand Marcos Jr have surged this week, on what analysts said were expectations they would benefit under the incoming administration.

Shares in at least three firms owned by relatives or friends of Marcos and outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte have climbed in double digits rates since Monday's election, which Marcos and vice presidential running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio - the president's daughter - won by landslides.

Araneta Properties Inc and Philweb Corp, whose chairman is a brother-in-law of Marcos, saw their share prices climb 45% and 13%, respectively, in the past two trading days.

Prime Media Holdings, a dormant listed holding firm owned a cousin of Marcos, jumped 28%, while DITO CME Holdings owned by Duterte's hometown associate and top campaign contributor, rose 12.4%.

"Traders tend to bid up shares of companies that they think would benefit with the incoming administration, whether they in fact do, we will see," Ron Acoba, chief investment strategist at Trading Edge Consultancy in Manila, told Reuters.

Election-driven surges stemmed from speculation that the Marcos administration would provide a favourable environment for these firms to pursue projects or looser regulations, said Carlos Temporal, equity research analyst at AP Securities in Manila.

The broader stock index fell 2.2% in the past two trading days.

However, shares in media companies ABS-CBN and GMA Network slumped by 18.4% and 10.7%, respectively, over concerns that Marcos, who has shunned interviews and skipped debates during the campaign, would be unfriendly to the press.

Incumbent Duterte has been accused of trying to intimidate some media with threats or licensing and legal hurdles, while free press was muzzled under the martial law era of the dictatorship of Marcos's father.

"The market could be speculating another era of government-controlled media under Marcos's administration which may prompt further shutdowns or takeovers of private media companies," said Temporal said.

(Editing by Martin Petty)

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