Typhoon was our ‘Black Swan:’ Philippine exchange COO

How Philippine firms are helping relief efforts

A typhoon that has killed an estimated 10,000 people and devastated islands in the central Philippines can be described as the country's 'Black Swan' event, the chief operating officer of the Philippine Stock Exchange told CNBC on Tuesday.

The term 'Black Swan,' used frequently in the wake of the global financial crisis, often refers to an unexpected event that has ripple effects.

(Read more: Will typhoon Haiyan derail the Philippine economy?)

"It's clearly a black swan event," Roel Refran told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box," referring to typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines on Friday.

"At the Philippine stock exchange, we are praying for our brothers and sisters affected by this typhoon, and yes the market was down yesterday but our officials are optimistic that we will end the year with 7 percent [gross domestic product growth]," Refran said.

He added: "So while we are aware that the priority is to rebuild the country, investors internationally and locally are factoring this in – these black swans."

Military personnel stand by a building damaged by typhoon Haiyan at the airport in Tacloban, on the eastern island of Leyte on November 12, 2013
Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images

The Philippine stock market fell more than 2 percent on Monday to hit its lowest level in almost six weeks. Shares in Robinson Retail Holdings, which began trading in Manila on Monday, tumbled on fears about damage to the company's supermarkets and department stores from the typhoon.

(Read more: Storm surge in Philippines: "It was like a tsunami")

"The financial loss will be extremely big. It is possible they will suffer a recession short-term but then there will be an opportunity to rebuild," said independent economist Andy Xie, speaking about the repercussions of the typhoon for the Philippines, on CNBC Asia's "The Call."

The Philippines has seen robust economic growth in recent years. Last month Moody's lifted the country's sovereign rating to investment grade, the last of the three major credit rating agencies to do so, citing firm economic growth, improvements in the fiscal position and political stability.

(Read more: In Asia ratings game, guess who just jumped ahead?)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) upgraded its full-year growth forecast for the Philippines to 7 percent from 6 percent in October. It was the only Southeast Asian country to have its growth forecasts revised higher by the ADB.

"The devastation is huge and it is difficult to get an accurate picture of the economic destruction," Neeraj Jain, country director for the Philippines at the ADB, told CNBC. "We are unable to quantify the economic losses at this stage."

Speaking about how corporates can help in the relief efforts, Refran told CNBC the Philippine stock exchange was speaking to listed companies about ways they could help.

"It's not just about financial assistance, what is critical here is to sustain the assistance and sustainability," he said. "What we're exploring right now is how companies can use and mobilize their resources and use that to deliver goods that are much needed."

—By CNBC.Com's Dhara Ranasinghe; Follow her on Twitter @DharaCNBC