‘More foreign banks to enter PH this yr’

BSP also expects the lenders to bring in FDIMore foreign banks may be expected to enter the liberalized Philippine banking industry this year and bring foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, the central bank said. Foreign banks may operate in the Philippines as a branch or a wholly owned subsidiary,“There are more banks that have expressed interest to come to the Philippines. The banking sector began attracting foreign players after the RA 10641, or the Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines, was passed in July 2014. “But before that, they are also our source of information for foreign investors. In accepting foreign banks’ applications for entry into the Philippine market, the BSP takes into consideration strategic relationships and reciprocity rights.

January 17, 2017 17:31 UTC

Brexit woes weigh down PH shares

The PSEi, along with most global markets, plummeted by more than 100 points to the 7,100 level as concerns about the impact of Brexit on the global economy and financial markets emerged anew. The benchmark PSEi declined by 1.59 percent or 115.12 points to 7,123.33, while the All Shares decreased by 1.38 percent or 60.22 points to 4,304.65. Only Ayala Corp. registered a 0.45 percent gain among the actively traded shares. More than 2.2 billion shares were traded, valued at P5.51 billion. On Monday, the PSEi dipped by 0.001 percent or 0.07 points to 7,238.45, while the broader All Shares declined by 0.09 percent or 4.04 points to 4,364.87.

January 17, 2017 17:31 UTC

News Briefs : Cebu Pacific ends Laoag route

LAOAG CITY—Low-cost airline Cebu Pacific suspended flights to this city starting Jan. 14 but did not give any explanation as to why. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the budget airline’s flight that landed at the Laoag International Airport on Jan. 13 was its last here. Ruiz said his office had received reports that the Laoag flights were dropped in favor of a looming expansion of CebuPac’s operation in the Visayas and Mindanao. “But we are still hopeful that within the year or earlier, CebuPac will resume its Laoag flights,” he said. “Farmers want to hear from Andal how he intends to lift coconut farmers from poverty while promoting the revitalization of the industry.

January 17, 2017 17:26 UTC

Primex prepays P1.8-B Metrobank, BDO loans

Subsidiary Primex Realty, owner and developer of a 31-storey residential tower in Salcedo Village Makati, also prepaid both its term loan with Metrobank amounting to P700 million and its P500-million loan with BDO. “The Metrobank loan that matured last July 6, 2016 was fully paid 3 months ahead of time, while the BDO loan that will mature in 2020 was fully settled before the year 2016 ended,” Primex said. Affiliate Primex Land has also paid all of its bank obligations worth P300 million, five months ahead of schedule, according to the company. Primex noted that the early settlement of the bank loans is expected to bolster the company’s financial standing in the domestic lending market. The transaction was seen to help make Primex attractive to investors given market confidence in the 8990 Holdings group.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

Rio Tinto ships more iron ore as prices surge

SYDNEY: Mining giant Rio Tinto reported Tuesday a ramp up in iron ore shipments on surging prices, but copper output disappointed amid production issues at its global mines. Prices in key commodities such as iron ore have soared in recent months, supporting producers, with shares in Rio Tinto jumping more than 60 percent from a year ago. Rio said iron ore shipments rose by three percent to 327.6 million tonnes last year compared to 2015, in line with guidance. Rio had continued to expand iron ore output even as commodity prices tumbled before the recent rebound, as well as to slash spending and wind back capital expenditure. The miner issued a wide copper production guidance of 525-665 thousand tonnes for this year, and unchanged guidance of 330-340 million tonnes for iron ore for the same period.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

App stores must register with state – China

SHANGHAI: App stores in China must register with the state from Monday, a government statement said, as China tightens its control over the internet. App stores are “not strict” when they examine and approve apps, the China Cyberspace Administration, the country’s internet watchdog, said in a statement. The clampdown on app stores came just after Apple removed the New York Times from its China app store, stating that it was in violation of local regulations. In the absence of Google Play, which is blocked, China is home to a variety of different Android app stores, though the landscape is mostly dominated by internet giants Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba. The first two companies control nearly half the Android app stores run in the country as of the third quarter of last year, according to a report from consulting firm Analysys.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

IPC to offer Salesforce training classes for users

LEADING cloud and data center services provider IP Converge Data Services, Inc. said on Tuesday it will conduct a series of Salesforce University training classes designed to aid end-users, systems administrators, and developers using the platform. “Through this accreditation, IPC has gained the knowledge to conduct Salesforce training courses in order to help users maximize the platform for their respective businesses,” Valmonte added. The classes will feature a Salesforce university certified instructor who will teach students through a series of exercises designed to reinforce the concepts presented in class. These classes are popular in Salesforce University and are related to the cloud platforms or services that most companies are subscribed to, Valmonte explained. Classes will start in March and will be held at the IPC Cloudlab in Makati.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

D&L unit develops ‘egg’ for Hatchimals toy sensation

D&L Polymer and Colours (DLPC), a subsidiary of listed firm D&L Industries Inc. (DNL), said that it developed the egg material for the recently launched children’s toy Hatchimals. In a statement on Tuesday, DLPC said it has developed a key raw material used in the Hatchimals toy sensation which allows it to hatch without splintering. The recently launched Hatchimals toy shows the gradual hatching process of an interactive furry chick that can walk, speak and sing through three different life stages: baby, toddler and adult. Lester Lao, DLPC’s managing director, said the main challenge was producing something that was both durable and delicate at the same time for the egg material. Our R&D [research and development]work is an important reason why clients continue to rely on us to come up with solutions, just like what we did for the Hatchimals toy,” Lao said.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

BOI, HLURB to expedite processing of housing permits, clearances

THE Board of Investments (BOI) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) have agreed to fast track the processing of applications of various housing permits, licenses and clearances to promote ease of doing business in the country, a BOI official said on Tuesday. “It is important that we offer a conducive business environment to investors, a place where they could quickly set up and process their business requirements. Under the agreement, HLURB shall regularly provide BOI with copies of all relevant rules and guidelines, and standards on housing and real estates. For 2016, investments approved by the BOI in the mass housing sector increased by 53 percent to P65.46 million from P43.95 million in 2015. These investments translate to 32,055 new jobs once these investment projects become operational, the BOI said.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

Iran keen on buying more PH bananas, pineapples

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will ask Iran for reduced tariff for bananas in a bid to increase penetration in the huge market. DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he met with Iranian Ambassador to the Philippines Mohammad Tanhaei on Friday to discuss trade between two countries. At present, the tariff on bananas is pegged at 24 percent. Piñol said Ambassador Tanhaei indicated that Iran has also a huge demand for pineapples and abaca, which is widely utilized in making tea bags and wellness products in his country. Piñol bared his plans to visit Iran in May to explore agriculture ventures with the country and lead in agri-fishery trade shows.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

Aboitiz unit Hedcor to supply 5MW more hydro power to Zaneco

In June last year, Zaneco signed a 5MW supply contract with Hedcor’s 68.8-MW Manolo Fortich hydropower project. It now has a total of 10MW contracted power supply from AboitizPower’s Cleanergy plant after signing the additional supply agreement in November 2016. “Manolo Fortich Hydro will enable us to further our commitment to support the energy needs of our country, particularly Mindanao. With Zaneco’s additional power contract, Hedcor’s Manolo Fortich plant now has a total of 23MW of power contracted. These power plants produce a combined 185MW of clean and renewable hydro power.

January 17, 2017 17:08 UTC

KTM to enter motorcycle manufacturing program

THE Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application of KTM Asia Motorcycle Manufacturing Inc. to join the Philippines’ new Motor Vehicle Development Program (MVDP) under Classification III (Motorcycle). KTM Asia is a partnership between Ayala Corp. and Austria-based KTM AG, which has chosen the Philippines as its Southeast Asian hub. KTM AG is the biggest European motorcycle manufacturer with a 9.6 percent market share across Europe. MDPPA bullish on domestic sales outlookWhile the final 2016 motorcycle industry sales figures are yet to be released, the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association (MDPPA) remains confident it will surpass the one million mark in sales for last year. The Motorcycle Industry Roadmap envisions an industry with the potential to expand manufacturing and sales operations in the country.

January 17, 2017 17:06 UTC

After Phl protest, Rody, Chinese official meet

Relations between Manila and Beijing have since warmed since Duterte’s declaring his openness to bilateral talks in resolving the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea issue. Abella said the Department of Foreign Affairs had to call the attention of Beijing to the latter’s latest effort to militarize the South China Sea. During his four-day state visit to China in October, Duterte brought home $24 billion worth of funding and investment pledges. They do not square with the Chinese government’s rhetoric that its purpose is peaceful and friendly,” Lorenzana said. Satellite images obtained by various defense analysts showed that China is continuously fortifying its occupied areas, specifically Subi (Zamora) Reef, Mischief (Panganiban) Reef and Kagitingan Reef (Johnson South Reef).

January 17, 2017 17:05 UTC

Gov’t corrects Jan. 12 report “Another Malaysian Named New Facilitator”

This is with reference to your news article “Another Malaysian Named New Facilitator in Peace Talks” written by Ms. Charmaine Deogracias which appeared on the Manila Times website on Thursday, 12 January 2017. It is irresponsible reporting to leave out a crucial statement in the second paragraph of such letter reiterating that upon consultations with the Parties’ principals, the request for a new Facilitator supersedes the Parties’ prior acknowledgment of Tan Sri Zakaria Bin Abdul Hamid as Third Party Facilitator. Tan Sri Zakaria Bin Abdul Hamid is not the new Malaysian Facilitator. The GPH and MILF Implementing Panels are still in the process of looking for the new Third Party Facilitator. IRENE M. SANTIAGOChair, Government Implementing Panel for the GPH-MILF Peace Accord

January 17, 2017 16:29 UTC

PH asks China to explain reported weaponry in reclaimed islands

A note verbale is an unsigned diplomatic document issued by a complaining country to another if there is a disagreement. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza appeared to contradict Yasay, saying China’s militarization of the South China Sea was “very troubling” and neither peaceful nor friendly. In July last year, the Philippines scored a sweeping victory in an international arbitration court that invalidated China’s historical claims to almost the entire South China Sea. Ambassador Lauro Baja, former Philippine permanent representative to the United Nations, questioned Yasay’s motive in sending notes verbale. “When one country sends a note verbale, normally it should be a diplomatic protest.

January 17, 2017 16:29 UTC

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