OUTLOOK | Glad to end volatile 2016, hoping for more fruitful 2017 file photo of Makati's central business district. means BUSINESS

MANILA - The Year of the Fire Rooster could bring luck to certain industries, according to a feng shui expert, while a market analyst also weighed in on what businesses may thrive in 2017.

Feng shui expert Hanz Cua said prospects for 2017 could get a boost from the fact that President Rodrigo Duterte was born on the Year of the Rooster, something which Cua said can bring businesses to the Philippines.

"There's a helping hand: a noble man star means there's an influential person that will help them. It means powerful countries like China or Russia or other Southeast Asian countries will come to do business or business expansion in the Philippines," Cua said.

According to him, food, gas stations, entertainment, electronics, technology and the real estate business may be lucky.

But those in the water, transportation and mining industries  may experience challenges throughout the year.

Cua said it would help if businesses display a rooster in the office, or maximize east, center and southeast locations.

Cua said the good business to get into in 2017 is "the business related to fire. This is a year of starting sa negosyo. This is a year to be more aggressive."

Market analyst: boon, bane for whom

While Cua sees luck for real estate, a stock market analyst said the industry could be in for problems in 2017.

Regina Capital's Luis Limlingan said an expected rise in interest rates as well as increased vacancies could weigh on the property sector.

Fast-moving consumer goods may also not be profitable this year given the government's push to improve terms for workers.

The government is "trying to clamp down on contractualization efforts, so expenses will shoot up for those practicing 555, for example," he said, referring to companies that let go of workers as soon as they reach their fifth month to avoid the costs associated with regularizing employees.

Limlingan said it would be better to invest in service businesses such as tourism or entertainment. Companies should also look at expanding overseas and strengthening the exports market, he added.

"We are still domestically driven right now; we're still highly concentrated on services but I think another leg for us to lean on is exports since the peso is depreciating," Limlingan said.

He added: "Let's look at the same goods being exported: electronics, agricultural products. Some restrictions have been loosened with China so probably [it will be right to] look at goods that haven't entered the market."

Looking back, 2016 was a year of uncertainty for businesses, with factors both foreign and domestic bringing unwelcome volatility.

Predictions and forecasts aside, companies will be looking for stability and predictability as the new year progresses.