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PHL, ADB ink loan deals worth $623M

THE Philippine government, through the Department of Finance (DoF), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed a total of $623 million worth of loans to finance feasibility studies for infrastructure projects, to further boost the competitive market and to provide more employment opportunities for the youth.

Zarate files resolution to investigate SEA Games funds use

A LEGISLATOR has called for an investigation on the controversies involving the use of funds for the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that was concluded Dec. 11.

Burnt manufacturing plant not an ecozone firm, PEZA clarifies

THE PHILIPPINE Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) clarified on Friday that the manufacturing plant that burned down early December is not a PEZA-registered firm nor is it located within the Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ).

Fitch Solutions trims 2020 PHL sugar production forecast

SUGAR PRODUCTION in the Philippines for crop year 2019/2020 is projected to reach 2.1 million tons amid higher domestic consumption and as local prices remain higher than global levels, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said in its industry trend analysis.

PCC approves Mikuni Toyo’s acquisition of Hitachi Terminals

THE PHILIPPINE Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the full acquisition of Hitachi Terminals Mechatronics Philippines Corp. by Japanese firm Mikuni Toyo Co., Ltd. as the transaction is not seen to lessen competition in the domestic market.

ICTSI takes over container terminal in Brazil

Razon-led International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has taken over the operations of a container terminal in Brazil.

SEC approves CPG’s preferred share offering

CENTURY Properties Group, Inc. (CPG) has secured clearance from the country’s corporate regulator to issue preferred shares that could raise up to P3 billion.

Peso strengthens on progress in US-China talks

THE PESO appreciated further on Friday on the back of market optimism that a phase one deal with China was already approved by the United States.

Electronics exporters conservative for 2020

THE ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY is keeping a modest export growth target for 2020, mirroring the 0-3% aim for 2019 in the face of a possible slowdown in demand for such products.

Water firms press for retention of current dam allocation

MANILA WATER Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. called on the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to maintain the minimum allocation to the concessionaires at 40 cubic meters per second (CMS) until the summer months to allow them to maintain their level of service to their customers.

Apple lands first Golden Globe nominations; Netflix leads field

APPLE INC.’s television news drama The Morning Show scored three Golden Globe nominations on Monday, putting the iPhone maker in the running for its first major Hollywood awards as a new player in the crowded streaming entertainment market.

Bombshell leads movie contenders for Hollywood’s SAG awards

LOS ANGELES — Bombshell, a drama about sexual harassment allegations at Fox News, led the movie nominees for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Wednesday and will compete for the top prize of best cast.

PHL builds P300-M Dubai Expo pavilion

DUBAI — The Philippines is allocating P300 million to build a pavilion at the Dubai World Expo, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

Toyota Philippines president steps down

TOYOTA Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) will have a change of leadership next year as its president Satoru Suzuki steps down by the end of December.

PhilRatings gives BPI Family Savings’ P35-billion bonds top credit rating

THE THRIFT BANKING arm of Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has been awarded the top credit rating by a local debt watcher for its P35-billion bonds.

US chief executives back revised USMCA trade deal

WASHINGTON -- The Business Roundtable, a trade group of top US chief executives, announced Wednesday its members backed the revised US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal after negotiators brought the hard-won agreement across the finishing line.

Shareholders lash Westpac over laundering scandal

SYDNEY — Westpac Banking Corp. on Thursday became the biggest Australian company to have shareholders vote down its executive pay for a second year, at a marathon annual meeting dominated by investor outrage over a child exploitation payments scandal.

Toyota names new North America CEO as industry faces unprecedented shift...

TOYOTA Motor Corp. on Wednesday said its North America chief executive, Jim Lentz, would retire on April 1, and tasked the unit’s chief operating officer, Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, with navigating an industry shift to electrification and automation.

Fitch Solutions cuts view on current account balance

FITCH SOLUTIONS Macro Research said the narrowing of the Philippines’ current account deficit, largely due to plummeting import demand, has led it to cut its estimates for the current account-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in 2019 and 2020.

Australian firms awaiting resolution of CITIRA uncertainty

AUSTRALIAN companies are seeking “clarity” on legislation proposing to reduce the corporate income tax (CIT) and streamline fiscal incentives, now pending before the 18th Congress.

DoJ posts record in 2018 human trade convictions

VARIOUS courts convicted 119 human traffickers last year, a record since a measure outlawing human trade for forced labor, sexual slavery and other illegal purposes was enacted in 2003, according to the Justice department.

DoJ rules out conflict of interest in review of water contracts

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra ruled out conflict of interest in the government’s review of contracts with water companies, saying it was he who had led the review.

DBM sets P4.64-trillion 2021 budget

THE GOVERNMENT is looking at a P4.64-trillion spending plan for 2021, about 13% more than the P4.1-trillion national budget for next year which made it out of Congress on Wednesday, Acting Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said.

Congress ratifies national budget for next year

THE PROPOSED P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 is now a step away from enactment, having secured Bicameral Conference Committee approval and ratification by both chambers of Congress on Wednesday.

Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings buys stake in Mindanao hospital

METRO PACIFIC Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI) is taking a majority stake in the operator of a 100-bed hospital in Butuan, Mindanao.

February rate cut by India’s central bank on a knife’s edge

BENGALURU — A February Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rate cut is on a knife’s edge, with just under half of economists polled expecting easing at that meeting, and is highly likely by the middle of next year, according to a Reuters poll.

CLI to spend P10B for three projects in Davao

DAVAO CITY — Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) is investing about P10 billion for its three projects in the city next year, its top official said yesterday.

PHL banks to weather lower rates, trade war

PHILIPPINE BANKS will fare well despite the falling interest rate environment, which has been the trend in most Asian countries, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Top chefs pick favorite cities around the world for great restaurants

EVERYONE KNOWS you can enjoy wonderful meals in cities such as Paris, New York, London, and Tokyo. But what of other dining destinations, with fabulous dishes that are more likely to be found in casual bars or bistros than in fancy restaurants?

First, Burger King. Now fancy tasting menus are ditching meat

FROM Burger King’s Impossible whoppers to Dunkin’ Beyond Meat sausage breakfast sandwiches, fast food may drive the conversation when it comes to a meatless future. But a quieter revolution is happening at the highest ends of the restaurant world: The number of courses that highlight beef, pork, lamb, and poultry are dwindling at places where a $200 tasting menu is a bargain.

DoT positioning Western Visayas for food tourism

WITH Western Visayas considered a possible focus of food tourism, the Department of Tourism (DoT) is now gearing up to promote the region’s farms as possible destinations.

Banana exports up 41%; industry still lobbying to lower S. Korea...

BANANA exports totaled 3.593 million metric tons (MT) in the first 10 months of 2019, up nearly 41% from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Smoke Easy

During the Prohibition Era (1920--1933) in the United States, when the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout that country, illicit or hidden establishments emerged to illegally sell or serve liquor. Such a club or bar, called a speakeasy (or a blind pig or a blind tiger) became very popular among both the rich and poor.

Water politics and power price control

“Adam Smith said people who intend only to seek their own benefit are ‘led by an invisible hand to serve a public interest which was no part of their intention. I say that there is a reverse invisible hand: People who intend to serve only the public interest are led by an invisible hand to serve private interests which was no part of their intention.” -- Milton Friedman, “Why Government is the Problem”, Essays in Public Policy, no. 39. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press, 1993.

AFC Cup 2020 group stage contenders revealed

GROUPINGS for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2020 were officially revealed on Tuesday at the draws held at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chooks-To-Go extends Manok ng Bayan mission with MPBL tie-up

CHOOKS-To-Go’s mission of helping promote nationalism through sports got added dimension with its recently inked partnership with the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

Farmers receive P3B worth of rice seeds

MORE than 300,000 bags of inbred seeds worth P3 billion have been given out to 46 provinces under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), the Agriculture department said on Wednesday.

Gov’t poised to beat anti-poverty goal by 2022

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s government can lift more people out of poverty than originally targeted by the end of his six-year term in 2022, one of his economic managers said on Wednesday.

Sept. FDI net inflow biggest in 5 months; down since March

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS (FDI) -- a key generator of gainful jobs -- notched their biggest net inflow in five months in September which nevertheless was down annually for the seventh month in a row, according to data which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on Tuesday.

Import bill drops fastest in more than seven years in October

LATEST government trade data showed imports declining at their fastest pace in seven-and-a-half years in October while exports were flat, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

JG Summit forays into logistics

JG SUMMIT Holdings, Inc. is forming a P60-million logistics business through a joint venture with a unit of global courier firm Deutsche Post DHL Group.

Posterity for posters

UNLIKE most other kinds of art, posters are ephemeral — put up to make some sort of announcement then thrown away after the event.

Bono-backed firm partners with PHL Red Cross

THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has tapped California-based drone delivery service Zipline to make on-demand and emergency blood deliveries nationwide starting 2020.

Billionaire Reuben brothers pop up in global art lawsuits vs. dealer...

BRITAIN’S billionaire Reuben brothers turn out to be the owners of a mysterious investment firm that has popped up in one of the biggest art scandals in recent history.

BPI halts use of LitePay following Westpac’s money laundering case

BANK OF THE Philippines Islands (BPI) will suspend its partnership with the remittance arm of Westpac Banking Corp. after the Australian lender got involved in a money laundering scandal.