Philippine authorities are looking to further liberalise peso trading as stability gradually returns to the battered currency. Volatility bands restricting the peso's maximum movement during any trading session were removed on Monday, yet some other restrictive market-cooling measures remain. Still in existence are a ceiling on the maximum trade allowed without special documentation and a bar on direct access to the spot market by foreign banks. The central bank's director of research, Diwa Guinigundo, said: 'We will gradually liberalise the foreign exchange market. 'When the peso-dollar rate establishes a more stable trend, then we will start reviewing these policies and undertake reforms to make exchange rate determination really market-driven.' The peso has clawed back 20 per cent from a low of about 47 pesos to the US dollar on January 7, boosted by a similar recovery in other Southeast Asian currencies. The peso closed up a further 1.1 per cent yesterday at 37.31 pesos, setting another high for the year. During a visit to Hong Kong yesterday, Philippine Finance Secretary Salvador Enriquez said: 'We are not so particular about where it [the peso] should land. We care for its stability and I think that's what we're getting.' Mr Guinigundo said: 'Our objective is to see stability in the exchange rate, whatever it is. It could be 40, 45 or 35 pesos. We would be happy if it is higher than 35 pesos.' He said that by establishing stability in the peso, the central bank hoped that business people would be in a better position to formulate their plans and long-term investments. Mr Enriquez and Mr Guinigundo were in Hong Kong as part of a promotional tour ahead of a US$500 million bond issue in the United States to boost government funds. Their trip was backed by US investment banks JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, which have a long history of helping the Philippine Government raise funds. Mr Enriquez said the Philippines' economic fundamentals were stronger than most of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and should not be viewed in the same light. He said the Philippines was still expected to record 3 per cent economic growth this year, while some other Southeast Asian countries were headed for negative growth. Exports were expected to increase 23 per cent this year, while imports had slowed, Mr Enriquez said. In addition, Philippine banks had much lower non-performing assets and a lower exposure to real estate. 'We hope you take note of the difference,' Mr Enriquez said.