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Fresh reform impetus seen in poll results

DOMINATION of the Senate race by bets endorsed by or associated with President Rodrigo R. Duterte promises to revive the impetus for reforms in his last three years in office, analysts agreed on Tuesday, and Malacañang lost no time in listing prompt approval of the P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget and a shift to a federal form of government among its priorities for the 18th Congress that opens its first regular session on July 22.

Car sales flat in April

AUTO SALES in April roughly steadied from a year ago, even as they dipped from the preceding month, according to latest data which the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association sent to reporters on Tuesday.

PCC approves US firm’s deal to buy stake in hotdog maker...

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved US-based Johnsonville International, LLC’s acquisition of a majority stake in local hotdog maker Frabelle Corp.

Huawei eyes bigger enterprise revenues in PHL

HUAWEI Technologies Co. is targeting to increase sales from its enterprise business in the Philippines by 150% this year, as the Chinese tech giant boosts investments on its incentive program.

German chamber sees TRABAHO dampening investment

GERMAN investment is expected to decline this year in line with those of other foreign businesses as they await clarity on the fiscal incentives reforms currently pending in Congress.

Hyundai Asia Resources hopes to decide on plant expansion before end-2019

HYUNDAI Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) said it will decide by yearend whether or not it will push through with a P5-billion plant expansion.

BCDA sees Filinvest Clark project eventually generating 1 million jobs

THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said the completion of Filinvest Land, Inc.’s (FLI) project in New Clark City (NCC) will generate up to a million jobs.

SMC plans tender offer for Holcim PHL minority shareholders

DIVERSIFIED conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) will have to conduct a tender offer to minority shareholders of Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HPI) in relation to its $2.15-billion acquisition of the listed cement manufacturer.

Germany cites concerns over PHL’s compliance with GSP+ terms

THE German government said Thursday that it has concerns about the Philippines’ compliance with the terms of its continued participation in a European Union (EU) preferential trade arrangement.

Trade dep’t ‘on track’ to hit medium-term export target

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it remains confident of hitting its medium-term export target amid ongoing efforts to address bottlenecks hindering growth.

Full gov’t mobilization urged for Laguna de Bay

THE Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said President Rodrigo R. Duterte needs to issue an executive order broadly mobilizing government agencies to work toward the rehabilitation of the Laguna de Bay.

Filinvest Development Corp. to invest P20 billion in Clark projects

THE Filinvest Group is set to inject P20 billion worth of investment into all its projects in Clark City in Central Luzon over the next five years.

DTI urged to check foreign compliance with capital rules

THE Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) has called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to look into whether foreign retailers are violating the rules on minimum investment levels to operate in the Philippines.

PHL competition watchdog expands review of GSK-Pfizer deal

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said it will look further into GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Holdings, Ltd.’s proposed acquisition of Pfizer Inc.’s global consumer health care business to determine if the deal will reduce competition in certain pharmaceutical drug markets.

Compostela Valley hauls in P1.2B investment pledges

THE PROVINCE of Compostela Valley bagged P1.2 billion worth of investment pledges, surpassing its target to secure P500 million worth of business deals at the first De Oro Business and Investment Conference.

BoI-approved investment projects rise 46.5% in first 4 months

INVESTMENT projects registered with the Board of Investments (BoI) in the four months to April rose 46.5% year on year to P286.7 billion, led by the power industry.

Profit-taking pulls bourse back below 8,000, capping three-session rally

THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE index (PSEi) failed to sustain strength seen for much of Friday, as profit-taking pulled the bourse back below the 8,000 line and capped a three-session rally.

Economists expect negative to flat first-quarter agriculture performance

ECONOMISTS expect production of agriculture -- which contributes a tenth to gross domestic product (GDP) and a fourth of jobs in the country -- to have contracted or registered flattish increment at best last quarter in the face of an El Niño-induced dry spell, according to separate interviews earlier this week.

Malaysia halal show generates $42M for Philippine firms

PHILIPPINE exhibitors generated $42.08 million worth of sales and investment leads from over 300 foreign buyers at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) last month, led by food products.

SC ruling to delineate PCC, ERC responsibilities

THE DIVISION of labor between the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will be clarified once the Supreme Court decides on a case which was elevated by the power regulator, according to a PCC official.

EU objects to PHL’s frequent use of glass safeguard measures

THE European Union has flagged at a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting the Philippines’ practice of imposing sagefuard measures on float glass imports.

Maynilad services affected by algae proliferation in Laguna Lake

MAYNILAD WATER Services, Inc. said its customers in the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Imus and Bacoor will experience low water pressure to no water supply until May 14 due to “reduced water production brought about by unusual algae proliferation” in Laguna Lake.

CEZA signs property deals with Chinese firms

THE Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) said it signed deals with Chinese businesses planning to invest $3.9 billion in projects first unveiled at the Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing.

Meralco core net income rises 14% in Q1

LISTED distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said its core net income rose 14% to P5.6 billion in the first quarter, despite a “modest” 2% growth in energy sales volume.

PCC claims authority to review all anti-competitive deals, seeks dismissal of...

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) asked the Court of Appeals to dismiss Grab Philippines’ (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.) and Uber Philippines’ joint petition questioning the agency’s authority to intervene in a consummated deal that falls below legal notification thresholds.

South Korea FTA seen boosting Philippines e-vehicle industry

THE government said a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea could help the Philippines establish an electric vehicle industry because the country can support potential investment in a battery industry with its nickel and copper resources.

AVID sales grow by 8% in March

THE Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) reported sales rose 8% in March, signaling a “modest recovery” after the decline recorded in the first two months of the year.

Association says BPOs observed work safety rules during quake

THE Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said its members complied with safety standards, and added that the safety of employees was not endangered after several earthquakes struck the Philippines.

Philippines presses for non-tariff barriers’ removal at ASEAN meeting

THE PHILIPPINES raised the need to review and eliminate trade-inhibiting non-tariff barriers (NTBs) at a recent meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) ministers, the trade department said.

PHL negotiating with Japan to export special rice

THE PHILIPPINES is negotiating to export special varieties of rice to Japan as the two countries undertake a general review of the Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, a Trade department official said.

Boao Forum meeting participants voice need for closer links, cite risks

FOREIGN AND LOCAL delegates at the 2019 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia called for closer development coordination among peers, building on China’s Belt and Road initiative and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, in order to resist a wave of protectionism threatening the rules-based multilateral system.

PHL expects Beijing Belt and Road forum to generate $10B

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippines is expected to take in over $10 billion worth of investment and trade agreements to be generated by the Philippine delegation’s visit to Beijing on April 25 for the Belt and Road Initiative Forum.

DTI assures safety of cement, steel

THE Department of Trade and Industry said Tuesday it actively monitors the market for substandard cement and steel products to enforce the product norms set by its Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS).

PCC checks for collusion in power sector

THE PHILIPPINE Competition Commission (PCC) will check allegations of collusion among power plant operators amid recent outages “that may have contributed to price increases in the retail electricity market,” the watchdog said in a press release on Monday.

Hanjin liabilities now pegged at $1.71B

CLAIMS against Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, Inc. (HHIC-Phil) now total about $1.71 billion, according to a recent interview with the firm’s rehabilitation receiver who cited latest assessments and said she has yet to receive a “firm” business proposal.

HARI sales rise 12% in Q1

HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) reported a 12.5% rise in first-quarter sales, driven by a reinvigorated local demand for light commercial vehicles (LCVs), trucks and buses.

IPOPHL lobbying for revival of special courts for IP cases

THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said it will seek to revive courts specializing in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cases, amid a surge in counterfeiting and with regular courts busy prosecuting illegal drug cases.

DTI to expedite permit process for integrated steel projects

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it will expedite the permit process for the construction of steel plants in the Philippines on orders from President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Construction spending growth seen slowing due to election ban, budget

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects growth in the “low teens” for the construction sector this year, slower than the nearly 16% posted in 2018, due to the election ban on public infrastructure projects and the delayed 2019 budget.

PCC seeking authorization to review completed mergers

THE PHILIPPINE Competition Commission (PCC) said it intends to form a task force that will look into previously-approved mergers and acquisitions to review how the deals developed amid fast-evolving regulations and industry structures.

Auto sales pick up in March

AUTO SALES growth picked up in March from a nearly flat increment in February -- after 12 consecutive months of decline blamed on higher excise tax rates that took effect in January 2018 -- although this was not enough to pull the first quarter out of contraction, according to data released on Monday by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association.

Competition commission approves AC Energy stake purchase in Phinma Energy

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said it approved AC Energy, Inc.’s purchase of a majority stake in Phinma Energy Corp.

EU FTA talks take back seat to GSP+ audit

TALKS for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Union (EU) have taken a back seat to monitoring of the country’s commitments under a preferential trade arrangement it bagged from the bloc in December 2014, according to a source from the European Commission (EC).

PEZA wants separate incentives regime for exporters in upcoming bill

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said it will submit to the next Congress its proposed amendments to the current incentive regime, distinguishing more clearly between firms serving a mainly domestic market and exporters.

Bill to be pushed strengthening intellectual property rights

THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) seeks to strengthen the Intellectual Property (IP) Code with its recommended amendments now filed as a bill.