October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016 Peso seen sideways as Fed eyed THE PESO may trade sideways against the dollar this week due to heightened ... economic data that may ...

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October 24, 2016

Peso seen sideways as Fed eyed THE PESO may trade sideways against the dollar this week due to heightened uncertainties ahead of the US presidential elections and on bets of strong US economic data that may revive bets on the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates by yearend amid mixed market sentiment on political noise at home. Loanpinas seeks to expand pool of SME lenders A LOCAL foundation for entrepreneurship wants to triple its lending database for its online loan portal for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by 2017 to heighten competition among banks and financial institutions. BSP survey of economists bares below-target forecast for 2016 full-year inflation STABLE food costs and low world crude prices are likely to keep inflation below 2% this year despite upticks expected in the last three months of 2016, according to results of a central bank survey of private sector economists. Corporate regulator looks for ways to cap informal lenders’ interest rates THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking a way to regulate interest rates imposed by informal lenders in the absence of an anti-usury law. QR scheme failed to protect rice farmers, agricultural group says AN agricultural organization said it backs the removal of quantitative restriction on rice, noting that the QR regime intended to protect rice farmers from cheap imports has failed to serve its purpose. AmCham points to members’ robust CSR activity THE American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. (AmCham) said its members are deeply invested in improving the welfare of ordinary Filipinos, contrary to impressions that US interests are neglecting the country. Reforms feared casualty in drug war INVESTORS are losing appetite towards the Philippines as the government appears to focus heavily on its drug crackdown at the expense of economic reform, analysts at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said, flagging a potential unraveling of fiscal policies that had otherwise helped the country outperform peers in the past six years.

Tax administration surfaces as reform battleground THE Department of Finance said its first tax reform package does not need insertions that call for improved tax administration, though lawmakers are insisting the legislation is needed to push revenue-collecting agencies to modernize their methods. Debt yields move higher on Yellen remarks, data YIELDS on government securities (GS) moved upwards on average last week, with investors taking their cue from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on the possibility of the US running a “high-pressure economy” as well as US economic data due to be released this week.

Subsidies to GOCCs drop in August (Can also be read in Malaya) Subsidies to state-owned companies declined in August this year after it surged in the previous month, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed. DOF sees PH becoming Asia’s economic powerhouse The Duterte administration vowed to undertake “long-postponed” institutional reforms to transform the Philippines from being Asia’s laggard into an economic powerhouse, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. BPO seeks Malacañang clarification The $22 billion IT-business process management (IT-BPM) industry is seeking clarification on President Duterte’s pronouncements for “separation” of economic relations with US, the Philippines’ long-time ally. US readies 2nd MCC compact for PH agri Despite unsavory rhetoric by President Duterte against the United States, the country’s long-time ally instead turned the other cheek as it readies a grant that will help develop the Philippine agriculture, a key component of the government’s 10Point Economic Agenda. P80-B subsidy needed to lower PH power rates The government will need to shell out at least P80 billion in annual subsidy for the power sector to gain that leverage of lowering rates to the level of the subsidized energy markets of Asian neighbors. ‘Lawin’ damage to agriculture, fisheries tops P10.2 B, says DA (Can also be read in Daily Tribune) Super-typhoon Lawin’s (Haima’s) damage to agriculture and fisheries has reached P10.2 billion in northern Luzon, with rice, corn, and vegetable suffering the highest losses, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). China confident on PH commitments (Can also be read in Malaya)

China is confident that President Duterte, having been elected by majority of the Filipinos, will adhere to independent foreign policies consistent with the interests of the Philippines and its people. BIR steps up benchmark audit to cut P200-B annual losses The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has intensified benchmarking audit operations nationwide to address the nagging low tax effort ratio causing government to lose more than P200 billion annually. Work double time on priority measures, lawmakers urged A House leader sought yesterday anew the adoption of a five-day work week in Congress to fast track its deliberations on federalism, along with other priority measures. Japan projects ‘more reliable’ than China’s Tokyo — Japan's overseas infrastructure investment cost may be higher than China’s, but when it comes to the project's reliability, the host country is assured it will get its money's worth.

Philippine exporters see restoration of fresh fruit exports to China PHILEXPORT News and Features MANILA, Philippines – Philippine exporters are optimistic the country would be able to restore shipments of fresh fruits to China, while also complying with stringent quarantine rules of its newest ally. SEIPI seeks fast issuance of licenses for controlled chemicals PHILEXPORT News and Features MANILA, Philippines – The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) has called for fast issuance of licenses for controlled chemicals in line with President Duterte’s order to cut red tape. Strong economy cushions impact of Duterte rhetorics – BSP MANILA, Philippines – The decision of President Duterte to sever military and economic ties with the US as it veers toward China elicited mixed reaction. Franchisers urged to pursue entrepreneurial innovation MANILA, Philippines – Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is urging local franchisers to sustain the ongoing entrepreneurial revolution the country is experiencing as this would help in the government’s agenda for micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) development. BSP seen to finally raise rates next year

MANILA, Philippines – Nomura Securities Co. Ltd. sees the policy stance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) turning hawkish in the first half of next year amid rising inflation. Economists keep inflation forecast of 1.8% for 2016 MANILA, Philippines – Economists of private banks kept their inflation forecasts for this year and next year amid the slight uptick in consumer price index over the past few months, a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed. DA allots P5 B for poverty alleviation MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will allocate over P5 billion in the next six years as part of the government’s goal of lifting at least 75 percent of the poor population out of poverty. Share prices may continue uptrend this week MANILA, Philippines – Investor optimism on President Duterte’s visit to China may continue to perk up the market this week, analysts said. Environment groups still optimistic about mining MANILA, Philippines – A coalition of environmental groups said investors need not worry about the current situation of the local mining industry contrary to what stakeholders claim that the government’s strict stance was sending the wrong signals to the global investment community. Banks tighten loan standards for real estate, housing MANILA, Philippines – Banks continued to tighten lending standards for commercial real estate and housing loans in the third quarter amid the sharp rise in prices, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported over the weekend. Special Report: Public, private capacities threaten infra plan MANILA, Philippines – No one seems ready for the Duterte administration’s ambitious infrastructure program, not even the private sector.

Duterte: Equal sharing from Chinese bonanza TUGUEGARAO CITY—President Duterte on Sunday promised that every Filipino would get an equal share from investment pledges made by China, where he made a state visit during the week Supertyphoon “Lawin” devastated Cagayan Valley, the Ilocos and the Cordillera regions. China stand on sea row stays, say analysts Security analysts expect China to continue building its “great wall” in the South China Sea despite the Philippines’ friendliness under President Duterte and Chinese talk of giving Filipino fishermen conditional access to the disputed Scarborough Shoal off Zambales province.

Perspectives on a principled foreign policy for PH While heading the Department of Foreign Affairs over the last five years, our firm belief was that it was necessary for the Philippines to effectively assert its rightful place in the community of nations. Industrialize PH with China investments, solon urges Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Sunday said new Chinese investment in the Philippines should ensure technology transfer to propel the country to industrialization. Itemized list of PH projects covered by China’s $15-B investment pledges to Duterte The $24-billion investment and credit line pledges that the Philippine government secured from China earlier this week were a display of “greater confidence” in the future economic relationship of the two countries, according to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. Russia oil minister signals cooperation with Saudis on price CAIRO, Egypt — Russia’s oil minister signaled possible cooperation with Saudi Arabia at a meeting with his Gulf Arab counterparts in Riyadh on Sunday, as the kingdom seeks to convince major oil producing countries to cut production in order to increase prices.

Group urges govt to convert rice QR into tariffs THE government should just convert the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice into tariffs and use the revenues it will earn to support palay farmers, according to an agricultural group. Banks adopt stricter lending norms in Q3 The banks reported tighter credit standards on loans as a whole in the third quarter, even as demand for credit remained robust. Why wage increase will do more harm than good RISING SUN by Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II LOCAL workers in the private sector have been clamoring for higher wages to ease the financial difficulties that they have been experiencing. It is no secret that the minimum wage (P454-P491) is barely enough to meet the needs of a big family. In response, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III will be filing in the current 17th Congress his proposal for a P125 across-the-board (ATB) wage increase for workers in the private sector. Utilizing the Performance Governance System for PPPs PPP LEAD by Alberto What is the Performance Governance System (PGS) and how does this enhance public-private partnerships (PPPs)? Can the PGS help “future-proof” PPP policies

and projects? What systems must be in place so that PPPs will serve the interests of the people and will be powered by the people themselves?

PH takes steps to hurdling China’s fruit quarantine PHILEXPORT News and Features THE Philippines is taking steps to comply with stringent quarantine rules of Beijing in a bid to restore exports of fresh fruits to China. ‘5B yen Japan loans set for Duterte visit’ Times sources see more trade, investment deals after trip Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is looking to offer 5 billion yen ($48.2 million) worth of loans to the Philippines when he meets with President Rodrigo Duterte next week, PNA reported over the weekend, citing bilateral diplomatic sources in Tokyo. Economists expect 2016 inflation at 1.8%, lower than govt target ECONOMISTS from the private sector were expecting that the average inflation rate this year will fall below the government’s target range of 2 to 4 percent, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said. AmCham members invest $10M on CSR for PH – survey THE American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) has conducted a survey released over the weekend, to quantify and document how the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of these companies contribute to the welfare of Philippine society and what activities they are usually engaged in. Property ownership by foreigners still strictly limited in PH ALTHOUGH the vibrant economy of the Philippines is attracting increasing numbers of foreign nationals to visit and consider setting up businesses or permanent residence, Philippine law still strictly limits the ownership of property by non-Filipino citizens. Banks tighten Q3 real estate lending – BSP BANKS have tightened credit standards on loans extended to real estate developers and housing loans for individuals, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported. Stocks seen flat ahead of Q3 earnings Philippine equities may trade sideways with a downward bias this week, as investors will be unwilling to take on extra risks ahead of the release of third-quarter earnings, analysts said. The Philippines’ new de minimis importation value Business Columns by NIMROD QUE FOLLOWING the issuance of Republic Act, Customs Modernization and Tariff Act or CMTA (RA10863) on May 30, the Bureau of Customs has released the implementing

rules for it. After conducting a public hearing and consultation on the draft Customs Administrative Order regarding the “De Minimis Importation” provisions of the CMTA, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon signed CAO 02-2016 on September 28. According to the Bureau of Customs, starting tomorrow, all importations below P10,000 shall be treated as ‘de minimis importation.’

Duterte’s ‘China pivot’ puts economy at risk The Philippines risks undermining economic relations with the US because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s sudden shift in foreign policy priorities, a London-based think tank warned over the weekend. Economists expect low inflation—poll PRIVATE sector economists expect inflation this year to remain subdued mainly due to low global oil prices, results of a survey conducted by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the month of September show. Stocks likely to trade sideways Stocks are expected to move sideways this week in the absence of significant local catalysts and as investors look overseas for guidance. Outstanding debt up slightly to P3.9t The national government’s outstanding debt paper slightly rose to P3.903 trillion at the end of September of 2016, Treasury data show over the weekend. Free trade pacts face resistance posted October 23, 2016 at 11:10 pm by AFP WASHINGON―The collapse of free trade talks between Canada and the European Union Friday is yet another sign of increasingly stiff resistance to economic globalization.

Manufacturers offer to help PNP speed up permits for chemicals PHILEXPORT News and Features THE Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) is pushing again for a shorter process of issuing permits for controlled substances.

When less isn’t more BUSINESS leaders of Cebu believe that a “separation” from the United States would do more harm than good, and believe fostering ties with more economies is the way forward. Halal sector welcomes Brunei's commitment HALAL industry players are optimistic of brighter prospects following the commitment vowed by the Brunei government to boost Mindanao's halal industry, one of the gains secured by President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent foreign trips. Banking on Pasalubong WHEN going places, people look for something they can bring home, either a souvenir or a local food. Tourism sector needs upgrade THE Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao Director Roberto Alabado III said there is a need to upgrade tourism facilities and activities in the region to fully tap the opportunities following China’s lifting of travel advisories in the Philippines.

BSP: Bank lending standards remain unchanged in Q3 Results of the Q3 2016 Senior Bank Loan Officers’ Survey (SLOS) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that most of the respondent banks maintained their credit standards for loans to both enterprises and households during the quarter based on the modal approach. CASH SUBSIDY NEEDS TO BE TWEAKED: More children in schools: PIDS The current administration is encouraged to continue the Aquino government’s support for basic education, although much can still be done for the education sector, a study released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said. New venture plans steel mill Nickel miner Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc.’s agreement with state-owned Baiyin Nonferrous Group Co., Ltd. will provide it with trade financing and if feasible help it to put up a steel mill. NDRRMC crafts recovery plan for ‘Lawin’-hit areas THE National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is crafting a comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan for Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera Administrative Region which were hardest hit by typhoon “Lawin” last week. Oil imports drop 1% in first half Philippine oil imports dropped one percent in the first half of the year due data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed.

Solon assails local tax exemption given to telco THE House legislative franchise committee in the previous 16th Congress managed to exempt Bell Telecommunications Philippines (BellTel) from local taxes, a move unknown then to the members of the ways and means committee chaired by Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo. Falling exports, weak household spending slowing Japan’s growth TOKYO. —Japan’s exports and household spending were expected to fall in the year to September, a Reuters poll found on Friday, in a sign weakness in external and domestic demand could weigh on economic recovery in the third quarter.

DU30 state visit to improve RP-Brunei trade ties — ICTSI International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is confident that President Duterte’s recent state visit to Brunei Darussalam will enhance diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries. BSP upholds fit, proper rule for bank officials There will be no relaxation of the scrutiny being made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regarding the fit and proper rule for all top bank officials. RP food business expands in SE Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) is aggressively expanding its food business to five geographic markets in Southeast Asia while gearing up to enter the Indonesian power sector to support its continued growth.