October 31, 2013

BAD LOANS held by universal and commercial banks continued to decline in August from a year ago, reflecting banks’ prudent management or credit risk, ...

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October 31, 2013

Gov’t back in deficit (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, Manila Standard Today) THE GOVERNMENT swung to a deficit in September but spending -- which for the month outpaced strong revenue growth -- remains below program. Filipinos’ optimism still high (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer) FILIPINOS REMAIN the second most confident consumers in the world despite their optimism having fallen in the third quarter, Nielsen yesterday said. Investors said unfazed by scandals (Can also be read in Business Mirror) FOR FOREIGN investors, recent improvements in the Philippine economy outweigh ongoing political scandals when considering the Philippines as an investment destination, according to a Cabinet official. Peso gains as market sees no taper THE PESO recovered against the dollar as the market expected the US Federal Reserve to extend its monetary stimulus to 2014. GSP+ application delayed THE COUNTRY’S application for an expanded preferential tariff program with the European Union (EU) has been delayed again and will instead be filed next month, a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official yesterday said. Bad loans decline steadily (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star) BAD LOANS held by universal and commercial banks continued to decline in August from a year ago, reflecting banks’ prudent management or credit risk, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement yesterday. Davao co-ops grow organic bananas for export

DAVAO CITY -- Two farmers’ cooperatives in Sibulan, Toril district, are enjoying premium prices for their 100% chemical-free organic Cavendish bananas, exported to Japan. ADB urges food security action THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said that incentives for raising agricultural productivity, safety nets for the poor, and predictable trade policies are important to ensuring food security, in a working paper released yesterday. BSP grants banks relief after quake (Can also be read in Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror) THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has granted regulatory relief to banks with head offices and branches in areas devastated by an earthquake this month, in turn, allowing them to extend assistance to their clients. Wage hike approved in West Visayas BACOLOD CITY -- The regional wage board in Western Visayas granted a P10 increase in the daily minimum wage of workers yesterday afternoon. SPC Island bags power barges POWER Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) has declared SPC Island Power Corp. the highest bidder for the three power barges auctioned off by the state-run firm yesterday. Climate risk countries to hold more GDP (Can also be read in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Manila Times) PARIS -- Nearly a third of the world’s economic output, some $44 trillion, will by 2025 be in countries at the highest risk of climate change effects, said research published yesterday. Tighter liquidity to hit emerging markets TOKYO -- Tightening external funding conditions will likely weigh on growth in emerging Asia, although weaker currencies and robust domestic demand may offset some of the pain, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) top official for the region said.

Purisima meets with Customs collectors Following a controversial tug-of-war between some former Bureau of Customs’ collectors and Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima over the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO), all concerned officials met on October 30 to discuss their concerns surrounding newly created office.

PCCI expects Palace action on PBC resolutions on economy (Can also be read in Philippine Daily Inquirer) The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry expects Malacanang to immediately act on its economic recommendations stressing the need to create more jobs to ensure that the economic growth trickle down to the poor Filipinos. ASEAN 2015 – challenges and opportunities There’s no stopping the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) come 2015 which will pave the way for a single market with duty free imports, single production base for 10 country-members, with 600 million consumers and $1.9 trillion in combined GDP. Japan industrial output up; recovery takes hold Tokyo (AP) – Japan’s industrial output rose 1.5 percent in September from the previous month, as stronger production of vehicles and electronic components added to signs the recovery in the world’s third-largest economy is gaining.

Stocks rise anew on Wall St gains MANILA, Philippines - The bellwether index gained for the second straight day, closer to the 6,600 level as local stocks mirrored the run-up on Wall St. US-based fund secures 5% stake in Metro Pacific MANILA, Philippines - A Washington-based investment manager focusing on emerging markets has secured a minority stake in infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

Consumer loans topped banks’ credit portfolio in H1 (Can also be read in Business Mirror) Loans to consumers outpaced the growth in total credit extended by major banks at the end of the first semester of 2013 due to strong demand from households that sought to buy new cars and homes, among other items.

PHL banking sector set for substantial growth THE country’s banking industry remained strong amid the global slowdown and has even played a significant role in transforming the Philippines. Stronger fiscal fundamentals helped lower September deficit THE Department of Finance (DOF) on Wednesday said “strengthening fiscal fundamentals” resulted in the national government posting a lower deficit in September this year compared with the year-ago level. Huge opportunities await hotel sector, research says TOURISM remains to be the next big thing in the country’s real-estate market, says David Leechiu, country head of Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines, pointing to the huge tourism market waiting to be tapped by the hotel sector. Organic farming option a boon for Davao resort DAVAO CITY—Twenty years ago, a visit to Davao City would not have been complete without a tour of GAP Farm and a photo taken with its iconic giant carabao in the background. PHL’s rice QR bid questioned IT looks like the Philippines has to face another hurdle in its move toward rice self-sufficiency. The Vietnam Food Association (VFA), Vietnam’s official regulatory body of rice exporters, wants the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to comment on the expiration of the Philippines’s quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice imports on June 30, 2012. Villar to examine garlic farmers’ production problems SEN. Cynthia Villar on Tuesday said she would want to examine the importation of garlic, which according to farmers has adversely affected their production and earnings from the industry. US housing prices rise the highest since 2006 HOME prices in 20 US cities rose in August from a year ago by the most since February 2006 as stronger demand boosted values. Pacific Asia: Two, not one Outside the Box by John Mangun THE Pacific Ocean side of Asia is one of the most remarkable areas on earth. This part of Asia is divided into two sub-regions, known as East Asia and Southeast Asia, but certainly the more than 2 billion people inhabiting this area would generally call themselves “Asian.” However, the cultural diversity in the region is amazing. Gray areas in claims for VAT refund

Tax Law for Business by Irwin C. Nidea Jr. IT is now settled that the filing of the administrative claim and the filing of the judicial claim for value-added tax (VAT) refund have different prescriptive periods that must be observed. An administrative claim for VAT refund should be filed within two years from the end of the quarter when the sales were made.

Stocks lack fuel to go higher The local stock market on Wednesday went up a little higher amid several factors that may have been keeping it from climbing further, even if the Dow Jones added 100 points overnight in response to the expectation the Federal Reserve will continue its economic stimulus program.

Cigarette probe continues The Bureau of Internal Revenue said Wednesday it will continue to monitor tobacco industry players to detect under-declaration of goods. PH is poorest among 5 economies in Asean The Philippines is now the fastest-growing member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but it remains the poorest among the five major economies in the group, the National Statistical Coordination Board said Wednesday.

DTI intensifies consumer education in MisOcc OROQUIETA CITY -- An intensified information education package on the celebration of the Consumers’ Welfare Month, this October, has been waged by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Misamis Occidental province. Central Bank says coins are decreasing BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)-Davao regional director Demetrio E. Casipong called on the public to use coins of smaller denominations in order to increase circulation and lower down production cost.

Geohazard maps needed in dev't planning: MGB THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Davao region encouraged the local government units (LGUs) to make use of the geohazard maps when crafting measures for land developments. Cebu business leaders welcome PH rise in doing business ranking BUSINESS leaders in Cebu commended the country for improving its rank in this year’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Report 2014. Leaders said the improvement is a “welcome development” for the economy amid the issues on corruption the country is facing.

Product labels mandatory for EU exports beginning 2016 — expert (PHILEXPORT News and Features) Entrepreneurs targeting to ship food products to the huge European Union (EU) market may choose to comply with nutrition labeling requirements, a top food nutritionist-technologist said in an official report.