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Gradual recovery seen to begin this month

ECONOMIC managers are hopeful the Philippines will begin its gradual recovery this month, as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased around the country.

PHL needs to strengthen fight vs financial crimes

THE Philippines should review its information-sharing mechanism to better address issues related to financial crimes, according to an analyst.

Last Supper at the Shanghai Saloon

IF I had known then that my dinner at Shanghai Saloon was the last nice meal I’d have for the next three months, I wouldn’t have rushed through the affair. Right after I left the restaurant on its March 12 opening, the president went on air to announce the community quarantine — which is still ongoing after four months.

AC Energy increases green bonds offering to reach $470 million

AYALA-LED AC Energy, Inc. (AC Energy) upsized its senior green bonds offering under its $1-billion medium-term note program by $60 million, expecting it to boost its clean energy investments amid a grueling business environment.

Netflix’s adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club aims at homebound families

When producer Naia Cucukov was in the sixth grade, The Baby-Sitters Club book series about preteen girls and their adventures in entrepreneurship helped her survive an awkward stretch of adolescence. Now, decades later, Cucukov is helping The Baby-Sitters Club get through an uncomfortable time in the entertainment industry.

Altus Property net earnings fall 21% due to mall closure

EARNINGS of newly listed Altus Property Ventures, Inc. (APVI) fell 21% in the first quarter due to mall closure during the Luzon lockdown.

Preparing for black swan and grey swan events

“It took us 12 years to build Airbnb, and we lost almost everything in four to six weeks,” Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, said in an interview on CNBC, indicating that the company was preparing to go public this year, and now that is up in the air. He is just one of the countless entrepreneurs who now face an uncertain future due to the global pandemic that is wreaking disruption in all facets of life.

Is there work-life balance while working from home?

In church, a nine-year-old boy listening to the sermon about “religious traitors” asked his father: “Dad, what is a religious traitor?” His father replied: “A person who leaves our church to join another.” The boy added: “Then, what do you call a person who leaves another church to join ours?”

Peso strengthens on BoP surplus

THE PESO continued to strengthen versus the greenback on risk-on sentiment amid the wider balance of payments (BoP) surplus in May and dovish signals from the US Federal Reserve.

COVID-19 infections near 39,000 as death toll increases to 1,274

THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 294 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 38,805.

Palace to review bill versus terror before it lapses into a...

MALACAÑANG will review the anti-terror bill that Congress had passed, a week before it lapses into law.

PCCI urges gov’t to ease travel curbs to aid airlines

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) called for the easing of travel restrictions in order to aid the recovery of airlines.

Justice department issues rules on criminal prosecutions for Competition Act violators

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a circular approving the rules implementing the criminal provisions of Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act (PCA).

The other pandemic

The United States marks on July 4 its 244th year of independence. But is it a “failing” or even “failed” state? At least two distinguished US authors think so.

Redefining wealth

Financial advisors and bankers used to discreetly classify their wealthy clients according to a finely calibrated chart.

Fernandez buckles down to work as PSC interim head

COMMISSIONER Ramon Fernandez began work as officer-in-charge of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) this week, looking to accomplish as much as he can while temporarily at the helm.

College of Saint Benilde chooses to keep 250 scholar-athletes

WHILE SPORTS continue to take a hit amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) is choosing to go against the tide by keeping the scholar-athletes in its fold.

BoP surplus widens in May

THE country’s balance of payments (BoP) saw a bigger surplus in May on the back of the National Government’s foreign borrowings and a narrower merchandise trade deficit.

PHL losses from tourism standstill could reach $22.6B

THE Philippines could lose up to $22.64 billion (P1.13 trillion) or seven percent of GDP if the tourism standstill caused by the pandemic extends to 12 months, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report.

PSE net earnings down 71% as shareholders turn to cash

THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) booked a 71% drop in its first quarter bottomline to P50.62 million as investors opted out of the market due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sia’s listed companies post mixed results in first quarter

TWO listed companies led by businessman Edgar “Injap” J. Sia II posted mixed results in the first quarter, but both were insulated from the negative impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

A taste of democracy: South Korea’s 16-year fight for a green...

SEOUL — It is being hailed as a major win for democracy in South Korea. After 16 years in exile, a president this week triumphantly returned to claim his rightful place — on the front of a box of green onion-flavored cereal.

Keep calm and bake on

Staying at home for the past months has brought out the inner baker in many people. Even before the pandemic, baking served as a therapeutic way of managing fears and anxieties. And it isn’t just about enjoying something warm and delicious. Baking involves all the senses and requires one’s full attention, forcing the baker to focus on the recipe and mute their inner dialogues. It gives people a semblance of control.

BSP okays payment system oversight rules

THE CENTRAL BANK will exercise cooperative oversight with other regulators for activities and interlinkages between payment systems and other financial market infrastructures.

Lenovo sees surge in sales during lockdown

LENOVO Philippines reported a surge in sales for its devices after lockdown measures were put in place in Metro Manila and other locations in the country.

RCBC launches app offering basic deposit accounts

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) has launched an app which offers digital basic deposit accounts to attract working class Filipinos.

Japan’s fussy food shoppers finally go online amid pandemic

TOKYO — The coronavirus has forced Japan’s notoriously fussy food shoppers to abandon doubts about online grocery stores, sending retailers such as Aeon Co. scrambling to meet a surge in delivery demand.

Manila says it’s ready to protest Hong Kong sinking of fishing...

THE PHILIPPINES would file a diplomatic protest if investigations show that a Hong Kong vessel had deliberately sunk a Filipino fishing boat in its territorial waters, its top diplomat said on Wednesday.

ABS-CBN not tax delinquent, says BIR

ABS-CBN Corp., which the regulator ordered closed after its franchise expired last month, had paid all taxes, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Permanent business closures estimated at 200, Labor dep’t says

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has tallied about 200 permanent business closures during the public health emergency, which imposed lockdowns that did not allow them to operate or impaired the mobility of suppliers and potential customers.

Philippine fruit production declines in first quarter

PRODUCTION of three major fruit crops — banana, calamansi and mango — declined in the first quarter while output of pineapple, the fourth major crop, rose, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The price of recovery

Metro Manila, Cavite and a few other areas with significant contributions to the national economy will remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until July 15. With that, the government, people, and business will just have to wait another two weeks to see if these places can transition to the more lenient Modified General Community Quarantine (MCGQ). It depends mainly on the trend of the number of COVID-19 cases reported daily.

GDP, CO2 emissions, and coal-gas consumption

This year marks several important global milestones in macro-economy and the energy sector. These include the coveted $100 billion/year of climate money starting 2020 as promised by the rich countries to poorer countries during the Paris Agreement in 2015, and steep decline in global GDP growth and energy demand because of the various lockdowns by many countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The world hit an all-time high primary energy demand of 584 Exajoules (EJ, 1 EJ = 23.88 trillion tons oil equivalent, or 277.78 tera-watt hours, TWH) in 2019, up from 576 Exajoules in 2018.

Jimmy Alapag: From point guard to coach

ONE of the best point guards to parade his wares in the local basketball scene, Jimmy Alapag is now making a name for himself in coaching, a transition he said was somehow “natural” after all those years he spent as a floor general.

Reigning ONE lightweight champ Lee sees Folayang a great challenge

HOLDER of the lightweight title in ONE Championship for over a year now, Singapore’s Christian “The Warrior” Lee said a lot is still in store for him as champion and that he is ready to take on all-comers, including former champ Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.

Japan could reimpose state of emergency in worst-case scenario

TOKYO — Japan is not in a situation now where it needs to declare another state of emergency over the coronavirus but could do so in a worst-case scenario, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.

New ‘digital cities’ seen to attract P70B in investments

A PARTNERSHIP between the government and private sector identified 25 new cities for outsourcing development, as part of efforts to redirect opportunities towards the countryside.

Filipinos struggle to work from home in internet-challenged country

RAINIER JAY S. UDARBE, 23, has been taking overseas calls from home as a call center agent for an outsourcing company in Makati since the main Philippine island of Luzon was locked down in mid-March to contain a coronavirus pandemic.

NTC wants Sky Cable shut, demands refund

THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Tuesday issued a cease-and-desist order against the direct broadcast satellite service of the Sky Cable Corp., a subsidiary of the embattled ABS-CBN Corp.

JG Summit plans to offer dollar-denominated notes

JG SUMMIT Holdings, Inc. is looking to issue dollar-denominated bonds through an offshore subsidiary and has tapped several banks to arrange the offering.

Saving memories: Filipinas Heritage Library calls for submissions to its Philippine...

IT IS a human imperative to document their lives, thus people through the centuries have turned to journals and diaries, writing about the momentous and the quotidian. These records offer future readers a window to the past, a way to understand that era. Arguably the most famous is The Diary of Anne Frank, which has for generations given readers a glimpse of life under Nazi Germany through the eyes of an adoloscent girl.

Bacon triptych sells for $84.6 million in a boost for art...

FRANCIS BACON’S Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus fetched $84.6 million at Sotheby’s on Monday, giving the high-end art market a boost after a months-long slump caused by the pandemic.

RCBC to return to dollar bond market

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) is set to tap the global bond market anew after securing approval from its directors to issue $300 million in dollar-denominated bonds to support the bank’s lending and green projects

Security Bank to close bond offer ahead of schedule on strong...

SECURITY BANK Corp. will close its offer of two-year bonds on July 3, Friday, more than a week ahead of schedule, after seeing strong reception for the issue.

1,500 Filipinos hit by pandemic come home

ALMOST 1,500 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have come home amid a global coronavirus pandemic that has sickened 10.4 million and killed more than 508,000 people worldwide, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).