INVESTOR sentiment in the stock market remains positive, amid the ongoing war in Marawi City and the government’s bloody anti-drug campaign, a top official of the COL Financial Group said.

“We did a survey of our customers in Manila about their outlook of the stock market and outlook on their businesses or jobs. It was surprisingly very high despite the noise,” said Dino Bate, president and CEO of COL Financial in an interview.

He said they see this noise is temporary and that these shouldn’t stop Filipinos from investing.

“These is noise that are creating opportunities that the market should look into as a buy rather than staying away. These should not be a deterrent of what you should do, which is to invest,” said Bate.

He anchors his optimism on the country’s economic momentum, which remains unfazed by the domestic issues.

“We see an economy that has this momentum to win. There is momentum. Of course, it helps if the government can really solve all these issues fast, but interests are low, there is liquidity that supports the dire need to invest. That is why a lot of buildings and small businesses are popping up in the streets. It is cheap money that is creating all this buzz,” said Bate.

“We believe that where we are today, there is still a long way to go,” the COL official added.

Bate said the market sees the local bourse ending with “new highs” at the end of this year, with projections to reach at 8,300 levels or 8,400 levels.

“This is the third time that the stock market index reached 8,000 levels in the past three years. We think that this time, this is going to go beyond (the 8,100 levels).”

Bate believes the resolution of the Marawi problem, passage of tax reform and the government’s golden age of infrastructure are what will propel these “new highs.” He added that global market condition has become favorable, with commodity prices doing well and outlook of global economy being upgraded.

“All these are helping the market. The risk though is the non-passage of the (tax reform) law but we are confident. We are seeing it can happen and this is what is going to propel the market,” he said.

“There is also progress on the Marawi issue. Based on what we are seeing, it is like coming to a close,” said Bate, who was in Cebu last week for the opening for the COL Financial Cebu office.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. reported that its listing-related income went up by 37.2 percent, on the back of the initial public offerings and stock rights offerings from January to June this year.

Trading-related income, on the other hand, registered a 12.2 percent-increase on higher trading volume. Average daily value turnover at the end of the semester was at P8.08 billion from P7.51 billion in the same period last year.

“The favorable investment backdrop provides basis for more trading and listing activities,” said PSE president and CEO Ramon Monzon in a statement.