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Inflation mars ADB’s economic picture of PHL

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) has retained economic growth estimates for the Philippines that made the country one of Asia’s best performers, but at the same time upped its projected inflation rate this year to one of the region’s fastest.

VAT refund claim deadline extended; PERA rules clarified

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended anew the deadline for processing value-added tax (VAT) refund claims affected by a 2014 rule that had initially denied many of them.

Preparatory work on Makati City subway begins

THE Makati City government and the consortium led by Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. (formerly IRC Properties, Inc.) broke ground on Wednesday the $3.7-billion Makati City Subway Project which aims to build an intracity railway system in the business district.

2GO-Nenaco merger gets SEC go signal

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved 2GO Group, Inc.’s merger with parent company Negros Navigation Co., Inc. (Nenaco), the listed logistics company told the stock exchange on Wednesday.

Lazada sees better 2019 after record year

THE YEAR 2018 might be a record one for Southeast Asian e-commerce site Lazada but according to its Philippine CEO, 2019 is shaping up to be an even better year for the platform as it focuses on introducing tools for its growing seller base.

Gov’t raises another P2.5B in bonds via tap facility

THE GOVERNMENT raised another P2.47 billion via the seven-year bonds on Tuesday after it opened its tap facility to accommodate excess demand from investors.

Facebook says instant messaging an emerging tool for transactions

FACEBOOK PHILIPPINES said its messaging platform Messenger is starting to gain credibility as a channel for business transactions, noting it is recording more than 10 billion messages between individuals and businesses on the platform every month.

Flavors of the season

THE PERFECT companion to 22 Prime’s Christmas menu, called The Nature of Christmas, is a lot of holiday cheer, beltless pants, and maybe a hefty winter coat.

Inflation seen staying above target next year

INFLATION will likely remain above target in 2019, a global bank said, which will prompt further rate hikes from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to keep local yields competitive.

The 50 Best Wines of the Year

THIS YEAR, I’m happy to report, it’s easier than ever to buy great wines without spending a fortune. From my tastings, I’ve chosen 50 wines that cost under $50 a bottle — and deliver both value and sheer deliciousness for the price.

DENR flags Manila Bay shoreline as next target for rehabilitation

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) warned of the potential closure of establishments along the shores of Manila Bay that do not comply with environmental regulations, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

Agus rehab estimate lowered to P37-40B

THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) expects the rehabilitation of the Agus hydroelectric power plant complex to cost between P37-P40 billion, lower than the P50 billion previously anticipated by the government.

Intrinsic value

Buy when the price is low. Sell when the price is high. This is the prescription given to those who are interested to invest in the stock market. But the underlying question is: when is it low or high? Fundamental analysts will prescribe comparing observed price versus intrinsic value. If the intrinsic value is higher than the price, buy the stock. If it is less, sell it. And if it is equal to price, hold it.

How to solve Asia’s waste crisis

IF there’s one item that epitomizes our modern world, it’s plastic. It’s easy to make and use but does untold damage, especially in Asia where rivers, lakes and oceans are literally choking on it.

Successful 2018 serves as inspiration for Agatha Wong moving forward

CRAFTING a successful season in 2018 amid a myriad of challenges that she had to face, wushu veteran Agatha Wong has only become more determined and inspired moving forward with her career.

Alaska takes Game Four to level series at 2-2

THE best-of-seven Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup finals series is now tied at 2-2 after the Alaska Aces took Game Four, 90-76, over the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Majority of Filipinos trust US will come to the rescue in...

MAJORITY OF Filipinos, at 61%, believe that the United States will defend the Philippines in case of an invasion by another country, according to the Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Congressmen want Diokno out; Palace says he still has President’s trust

THE HOUSE of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a resolution urging President Rodrigo R. Duterte to reconsider the appointment of Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno over alleged irregularities in the budget system.

S&P, Nomura expect GDP growth to pick up in 2019

ECONOMIC GROWTH should pick up in 2019 following a slower-than-expected climb this year, according to two analyses issued on Tuesday, boosted by election spending and strong domestic demand.

FDI net inflows fall in September

FOREIGN direct investment (FDI) net inflows to the Philippines fell in September to their lowest level in over a year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Tuesday, at a time of faster inflation and global trade tensions.

Energy World revives talks with lenders for Pagbilao project funding

THE local unit of Australia-listed Energy World Corp. Ltd. (EWC) has revived talks with lenders to finance the completion of its 650 megawatt (MW) combined cycle gas-fired power plant after it has received certification from the government that the project is one of national significance.

Alfamart to add 200 PHL stores

INDONESIAN mini-mart chain Alfamart is planning to open 200 new stores in the Philippines next year, according to a report by Fitch Ratings.

An elaborate process creates the deceptively simple

ABSTRACT paintings hold a multitude of meanings depending on the beholder, so instead of looking for meaning, one way to connect to the art work is to look at and appreciate the labor behind the creation.

Insurance firms book growth in net premiums

THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY saw growth in terms of premiums collected as of September, boosted by the life sector’s performance.

Livin’ in a surreal world

BORN IN 1941, artist Raul H. Lebajo is still a kid at heart. For his ongoing exhibit, he invites viewers into the world of his imagination, of fantastic worlds and phantasmagorias.

House panel approves transfer of Mislatel control

THE HOUSE COMMITTEE on Legislative Franchises approved on Tuesday the transfer of controlling interest in Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. (Mislatel) to its partners in setting up the third entrant to the telecommunications industry.

Fiber regulator seeking 2019 budget of P600M

THE Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) said it is seeking a P600 million budget for 2019 to pursue its development and marketing initiatives for the industry.

Celtics dump Pelicans for sixth straight win

MARCUS MORRIS and Jayson Tatum combined to score 52 points as the short-handed Boston Celtics won their sixth game in a row by defeating the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, 113-100, on Monday night.

Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour’s December Open 2018 fires off this...

COMPETITIVE beach volleyball action takes place this weekend with Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour’s December Open happening at the Sands SM By The Bay.

Andaya: Former House leaders get biggest slice

THE BIGGEST infrastructure allocations for 2019 are going to the districts of former leaders of the House of Representatives, House Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. of the 1st district of Camarines Sur said on Tuesday.

Draft charter passes House 3rd reading

THE HOUSE of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading its proposed federal constitution, with 224 affirmative votes, 22 negatives and 3 abstentions.

Iconoclastic, destructive leadership

The appointment of Lucas Bersamin as chief justice of the Philippines is yet another blasphemy committed against one of our sacred institutions, the last bastion of justice in our country. Let us be kind. In his inaugural talk to his people, delivered during the flag-raising ceremony, Bersamin betrayed his small-mindedness. The presidential appointment came at about the same time as when our national leader bad-mouthed the Catholic Church and its leaders in no uncertain terms. Rodrigo Duterte seems to be on a rampage, weakening institutions that help ensure a sense of justice, civility, and of right and wrong among our increasingly confused people. Even Filipino women, regarded worldwide as competent, kind and fine human beings -- from nurses and nannies, doctors to musicians, artists and designers -- are not spared from his insults.

Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in the Philippines

The Supreme Court recognized in the case of Saudi Arabian Airlines v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 122191, 8 October 1998, 297 SCRA 469) that “the presence of foreign elements (in transactions) is inevitable, since social and economic affairs of (persons and/or entities) are rarely confined to the geographic limits of their births or conception.” Thus, as an example, persons/corporations from various States may enter into contracts, which contracts may even involve properties located in an entirely different State. In case of breach, it could happen that a party will resort to its own local court to obtain relief, or may go to the courts of another State with a significance or connection to them or to their transaction.

4 gifts fit for a king

HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc.’s (HARI) “Christmas gift” to the Filipino motoring public was a glimpse of what could likely be their immediate future, and the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines couldn’t have done it in a grander way -- through a combined launch held on December 6 at a convention center in Pasay City.

Toyota introduces new-generation Camry in PHL

THE eighth-generation Toyota Camry, premiered at the North American International Auto Show in 2017 and sold in Japan, the US and other markets later that year, is now available in the Philippines.

Peso inches up vs dollar

THE PESO strengthened slightly versus the dollar even as the country posted its widest trade deficit in October.

Meralco bills rise for 2nd month

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) announced on Monday a P0.0902 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) hike in December’s overall electricity rate to P10.1803/kWh, marking the second straight month of increase, citing a rise in generation charge from power supply contracts.

Senate cautioned that reenacted budget could weigh on growth

THE PHILIPPINES’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth may lose 1.1-2.3 percentage points should the 2018 national budget be reenacted for the whole year in 2019, according to estimates which state economic managers submitted to the Senate on Monday.

Tencent poised to spin new streaming billionaires

A LAWYER, a computer scientist, and China’s third-richest person are poised to create one of the year’s biggest hits in the music industry.

BPO industry poised for rebound

THE Philippine business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is headed toward a resurgence in 2019, as the rise in wages in the United States coupled by the weaker peso are encouraging multinational firms to move back to the country.

Nominees for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards

NOMINATIONS WERE announced on Dec. 13 for the 2019 Golden Globe awards for movies and television. The Golden Globes, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be presented at a gala dinner hosted by Canadian actress Sandra Oh and US comedian Andy Samberg in Beverly Hills, California, on Jan. 6. Following is a list of key film and television nominations.

Damosa Land breaks ground for new office building in Davao City

DAVAO CITY — Damosa Land, Inc. (DLI), the property arm of the Floirendo-owned Anflo Management and Investment Corp. (ANFLOCOR), broke ground over the weekend for its new office building inside the Damosa Information Technology Park here.

ALI developing estate in Misamis Oriental

AYALA Land Inc. (ALI) has started developing the Habini Bay, a 526-hectare estate within the towns of Alubijid and Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental, which is envisioned to become a “new center of trade and commerce” in the Northern Mindanao region.

Citadines Bay City Manila targets smart travellers

SINGAPORE-BASED The Ascott Limited continued to expand in the Philippines with the opening of the third branch of its apartment hotel brand Citadines.

BSP likely to hold fire on rates — Fitch

THE central bank will likely keep rates steady this week but may still push on with fresh rate hikes by 2019, Fitch Solutions said in a report.