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Ranks of super-rich set to grow in Philippines

THE number of super-rich Filipinos is likely to grow over a five-year period in line with a global trend, the annual wealth report from real estate consultant Knight Frank said.

Philippine banks likely to weather crisis better than SE Asian peers,...

PHILIPPINE BANKS appear better positioned to weather the surge in soured loans than Southeast Asian peers, but sluggish economic growth could dampen the sector’s recovery this year,   S&P Global Ratings said.

Germany’s Lipp, MPIC unit to build two biogas plants

GERMAN tank builder Lipp GmbH has tied up with a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) to build two industrial-scale biogas plants in Mindanao that will use farm waste to produce clean energy.

The London chef with three stars and 20,000 dinner cancellations

RESTAURANT bookings normally go crazy when a chef wins three Michelin stars.

SSS online transactions surge in 2020

STATE-RUN Social Security System (SSS) saw transactions done through its digital platforms more than double last year, with the number of online transactions making up for 75% of the total, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

International restaurants adapt to pandemic

VIENNA/NEW YORK CITY — Austria plans to let cafe and restaurant terraces reopen this month in a further loosening of its coronavirus lockdown that will get an early start in a small Alpine province because of its lower infection rate, the government said on Monday.

BSP seeks comments on draft guidelines for FIST law

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has started asking banks and other concerned parties for their feedback on the draft guidelines of the law that would allow financial institutions to offload soured assets through asset management companies.

Intel told to pay $2.18B after losing patent trial

INTEL CORP. was told to pay VLSI Technology LLC $2.18 billion by a federal jury in Texas after losing a patent-infringement trial over technology related to chip-making, one of the largest patent-damages award in US history. Intel pledged to appeal.

Davao City chamber partners with Lazada to boost local businesses

THE Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and e-commerce platform Lazada have teamed up to help local businesses through digitalization.

Regulator says it has not started reviewing Sinopharm application

THE LOCAL Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to start evaluating Sinopharm Group Co. Ltd.’s application for the emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine, according to the regulator.

Philippines seeks Suu Kyi’s quick release after military coup

THE PHILIPPINES on Tuesday sought the immediate release of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi after the military declared a coup last  month.

Water supply judged adequate for dry season

THE SUPPLY of water for Metro Manila will be sufficient to get the capital region through the dry months, water regulators said.

House committee approves P10 plastic bag tax

A HOUSE committee approved Wednesday a bill that will impose a P10 excise tax on single-use plastic bags at the factory level or upon the arrival of imported bags.

To vaccine or not to vaccine

With the government starting to vaccinate people against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) this week, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the economy could return to pre-pandemic levels earlier than 2023. That is, if the government can also help businesses find ways to go about their affairs despite existing quarantine restrictions in the meantime.

Tailored ads are killing the informed consumer

IN MANY WAYS, the tailored advertising that supports much of the internet works pretty well. It helps people with money figure out where to spend it with minimal effort and waste. But I’m afraid it could lead to the extinction of a certain kind of human: the informed consumer.

PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters officially join PVL

The PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters are making their way back to the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

Celtics hold off LA Clippers for third straight win, 117-112

KEMBA Walker scored 25 points and the Boston Celtics held on to defeat the visiting Los Angeles (LA) Clippers (117-112) on Tuesday night.

Contagious Brazil COVID-19 variant evades immunity, scientists warn

LONDON — A highly transmissible COVID-19 variant that emerged in Brazil and has now been found in at least 20 countries can re-infect people who previously recovered from the disease, scientists said on Tuesday.

German warship to cross S. China Sea

BERLIN — A German frigate will set sail for Asia in August and, on its return journey, become the first German warship to cross the South China Sea since 2002, senior government officials in Berlin said on Tuesday.

Two-thirds of PHL employers plan to get COVID vaccines for workers

TWO-THIRDS of Philippine employers are planning to buy coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines for their workforce, a survey from global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson and the People Management Association of the Philippines found.

Bank lending drops for 2nd month in a row

LOANS disbursed by big banks declined for a second consecutive month in January, as lenders remained risk-averse amid the coronavirus pandemic.

URC income up 15% to P11.6B

GOKONGWEI-led Universal Robina Corp. (URC) posted a 15% increase in net income last year to P11.6 billion due in part to lower debt and interest expenses, it said on Tuesday.

Robinsons Land ends 2020 with P5.3-B profit

ROBINSONS LAND Corp. closed 2020 with a net income of P5.26 billion, the property developer said on Tuesday without disclosing a comparative figure for the year when it “exhibited resilience and agility.”

4th Ortigas Arts Festival: A film contest, on-site and virtual workshops

ORTIGAS Malls is pushing through with the fourth year of the Ortigas Art Festival, both on-site and virtually until Mar. 31. The onsite venue is the East Wing of Estancia at Capitol Commons, Pasig City.

Manila museums, library reopen amidst ongoing pandemic

AFTER being closed to the public since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdowns in 2020, the National Museum of the Philippines’ three component parts —  the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Natural History —  will be welcoming visitors again beginning March 2, albeit with many restrictions and regulations. Also opening are the National Library and the San Agustin Museum in Intramuros.

RCBC’s digital banking app records increase in deposit transactions, usage

THE all-digital banking app Diskartech owned by Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) has seen an increase in deposit transactions as more clients continue to join the platform.

BDO Leasing sees 2020 net income climb by 439% amid restructuring

BDO LEASING and Finance, Inc. (BDOLF) registered a higher net profit last year despite booking lower revenues on the back of decreased funding costs.

Cancer preparedness of Asia-Pacific countries

With more patients in need of help to access treatments, advocates welcome the recent announcement of the Department of Health (DoH) that it would allocate at least a P700-million annual budget to the cancer assistance fund.

Metro Manila live hog deliveries top 100,000

SOME 101,333 live hogs have been transported to Metro Manila since Feb. 8, when the Department of Agriculture (DA) capped pork retail prices in a bid to keep inflation under control.

Japanese suppliers invited to bid for train set contracts of Malolos-Clark,...

THE GOVERNMENT is seeking bids from Japanese suppliers for the contract to supply train sets for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project and the North-South Railway Project-South Commuter line.

Chinese Sinopharm seeks emergency use approval for vaccine

CHINESE drug maker Sinopharm Group Co., Ltd. has applied for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its coronavirus vaccine in the Philippines, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Group asks gov’t to prioritize prisoners for COVID vaccines

A GROUP representing the families of political prisoners has asked the government to include about 215,000 inmates in the country’s crowded jails among the most vulnerable people who should get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Creative destruction

In the book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, the authors argue that the prosperity of a nation is not primarily based on geography, climate, or culture. The authors, rather, point to the existence of inclusive political and economic institutions, as opposed to extractive institutions, as the primary aspect that will foster the prosperity of a nation.

Ulat sa Bayan: In the darkest of periods, BSP was able...

MEMBERS of the banking community and the diplomatic corps, esteemed leaders and partners from the public and private sectors, colleagues from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), good afternoon.

Vaccines 80% effective at preventing hospitalizations in over-80s

LONDON — The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalizations from COVID-19 in those over 80 after one dose of either shot, Public Health England (PHE) said on Monday, citing a pre-print study.

Pilotless, fighter-like jet completes first test flight in Australia

SYDNEY — Boeing Co. and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) said on Tuesday they had completed the first flight test on a pilotless fighter-like jet designed to operate in conjunction with crewed aircraft.

Kaya plays AFC Cup 2021 assignments in Singapore

KAYA FC-Iloilo is to play its AFC Cup 2021 matches in Singapore, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Monday.

Fitness start-up FlexBox taking personal training service to another level

FITNESS start-up FlexBox was born amid the pandemic, but it is not stopping it from seeing its vision of elevating how personal training service is done in the country.

Tech demand drives Asia’s factory revival; China’s slowdown puts dampener

TOKYO — Solid demand for technology goods drove extended growth in Asia’s factories in February, but a slowdown in China underscored the challenges facing the region as it seeks a sustainable recovery from the shattering coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic blow.

Domestic trade of goods plunges in Q4

LOCALLY TRADED goods sharply fell in the fourth quarter of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic dampened demand, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Monday.

Pangilinan eyes SPEx stake in Malampaya project

THE head of the MVP group of companies said on Monday that he was looking at acquiring the stake of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEx) in the Malampaya gas-to-power project off the northwest Palawan coast.

Holcim profit down by 39% as sales fall

HOLCIM PHILIPPINES, Inc. reported a net profit of P1.04 billion in the fourth quarter last year, down 39.4% from a year earlier as the cement manufacturer recorded a significant drop in sales.

Study finds Netflix leads on women directors, lags with Latin, Asian...

LOS ANGELES —  Netflix, Inc. outpaced competitors in hiring women to direct feature films but Latin-American and Asian actors were underrepresented in leading TV roles, according to a study commissioned by the streaming service and released on Friday.

Nomadland, satire Borat win top Golden Globes

DRAMA Nomadland and satire Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won movie honors at the Golden Globes on Sunday in a mostly virtual bicoastal ceremony that was marked by pandemic conditions and calls for more diversity.

New RLC brand targets young professionals

ROBINSONS LAND Corporation (RLC) has launched a new brand, RLC Residences, that targets young professionals and families.