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Gov’t mulls takeover of Hanjin’s shipyard

OPTIONS for a resolution of debt troubles of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), which has entered rehabilitation, now include a possible government takeover of its facilities in Subic Bay Freeport in Central Luzon, the country’s Defense chief said on Wednesday.

Yields on term deposits decline as liquidity continues to improve

YIELDS on term deposits fell across the board yesterday, mirroring a downtrend in bond yields as liquidity improved in the market.

Banks paint ‘manageable’ Hanjin risk

FITCH SOLUTIONS on Tuesday added its voice to expectations that debt woes of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, Inc. (HHIC-Phil) will not likely shake the Philippines’ financial sector, as four of the affected local banks disclosed some details of their exposure to the troubled Korean shipbuilder.

Remittance growth slows in November

MONEY SENT HOME by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) grew in November last year, sustaining an increase for the third straight month and likely fueling household spending in 2018’s fourth quarter, according to data released on Tuesday by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

FMIC, UA&P economists sketch better 2019 picture

THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY should see better times in 2019, with growth seen picking up as prices and borrowing costs decline, analysts at First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) said on Tuesday.

Banks’ credit ratings at risk from Hanjin

HUGE LOAN EXPOSURES to troubled Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil) could pull down credit ratings for the five Philippine banks concerned as its problems would mean narrower profits for absorbing possible defaults, Moody’s Investors Service said in a Jan. 14 note.

Big lenders’ bad debts grow, but asset quality improves

BAD DEBTS held by big banks grew by a tenth in November amid more loans, according to latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

SpeedyPay secures e-money issuer license from BSP

SPEEDYPAY, Inc. has received a license to operate as an e-money issuer (EMI) in the Philippines.

Banks cite reduced rate hike pressures

THERE IS LESS PRESSURE for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to raise rates further this year as inflation has somewhat eased and the trade gap can be expected to narrow, two global banks said.

BSP notes opportunities in fintech for lenders

BANKS are not losing significant business volumes to financial technology (fintech) players just yet as the latter remain largely focused on payments rather than loans, the central bank said, but conventional lenders are well-advised to seek opportunities in this emergent field of business.

Foreign direct investments continue to drop in October

FOREIGN investments to the Philippines sustained a three-month slide in October, the central bank reported on Friday, casting doubt on forecasts of another banner year amid a slump in sentiment.

BSP downplays effect of Hanjin default on banking industry

LOCAL banks’ exposure to embattled firm Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Philippines) is “negligible,” a senior central bank official said, noting that local lenders are well-placed to weather these loan defaults.

Salary increase for gov’t workers seen by February

GOVERNMENT WORKERS can expect to receive higher salaries next month as the 2019 budget is expected to be signed into law, the country’s Budget chief said, adding that succeeding pay hikes will be revealed later this year.

Peso rallies to new eight-month high

THE PESO sustained its rally on Friday to log its best showing in eight months, riding on a weaker dollar due to dovish comments from the US Federal Reserve.

Moody’s flags rising political risk

“POLITICAL POSITIONING” ahead of elections -- as signaled by delayed approval of the proposed 2019 national budget and several tax reforms -- could dampen Philippine growth prospects, Moody’s Investors Service said.

Former RCBC branch manager convicted for money laundering in Bangladesh central...

A MAKATI CITY court on Thursday convicted former Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito of eight counts of money-laundering involving $81 million stolen from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February 2016.

BSP further eases FX transaction rules

THE CENTRAL BANK has announced fresh easing of foreign exchange (FX) transaction rules, which include simpler documentary requirements for investments involving currency trades.

Rediscount borrowings surge on funding needs

MORE BANKS turned to the central bank to avail of short-term loans in 2018, with the figure surging compared to a year ago due to higher funding needs for investments.

Inflation projected to dip below 4% in 2019

INFLATION is expected fall 4% this year with risks to prices seen balancing, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, after the indicator spiked in 2018.

Demand for BSP’s term deposits rebounds

DEMAND FOR term deposits recovered yesterday across all tenors, showing improved liquidity after some tightness observed during the holiday season.

BSP sets rules on loan limits for NSSLAs

THE CENTRAL BANK published new rules to streamline the process of computing loan limits for non-stock savings and loans associations (NSSLAs) to better manage credit risks.

Fitch Solutions sees fiscal deficit falling below ceiling programmed for this...

THE PHILIPPINES will likely fall short of its budget deficit ceiling for 2019, Fitch Solutions said, explaining that it expects the government “to underspend” this year.

Money supply picks up in November even as loan growth eases

MORE MONEY circulated in the economy in November last year, even as loan growth continued to ease in the wake of a fifth increase in benchmark interest rates by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that month.

December FX reserves top BSP forecast

FOREIGN EXCHANGE reserves recovered in December on the back of higher gold valuations and bigger foreign investment gains, to settle above the central bank’s yearend projection.

Lower headline inflation seen to cause decline in market interest rates...

LOWER INFLATION will trigger a similar decline in bond yields this year, analysts at First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) said, together with expected rate cuts from the central bank.

Peso strengthens on dovish Fed

THE PESO maintained its strength for a second straight session on Monday, riding on dovish cues from the US Federal Reserve which kept the dollar at bay.

Nonprofit groups in watchdog’s sights

NONPROFIT OUTFITS in the Philippines have become channels for funds from illegal activities, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said in a report, citing over P600 billion worth of transactions involving corruption and fraud over the past five years.

Central bank readies new rules to manage credit risks better

THE CENTRAL BANK plans to roll out more rules to manage credit risks, a senior official said, explaining that the new regulations will enable banks to be more flexible in pricing loans for retail clients.

GDP growth slowdown expected to persist

ECONOMIC EXPANSION will likely ease further in 2019 as last year’s interest rate hikes are expected to pull down consumer spending, Natixis Research said, even as it noted that the Philippines will remain “resilient” to global slowdowns.

All PHL banks, credit card issuers complete shift to EMV technology

ALL BANKS and credit card issuers have fully migrated to chip-based cards as of end-2018, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, which comes after a four-year transition period.

Bad loans of rural, cooperative banks climb further

BAD LOANS held by smaller banks surged faster in September 2018 to outpace a modest expansion in total lending, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

Term deposit yields drop

YIELDS ON term deposits went down yesterday, with demand posting a slight recovery as the holidays drew to a close, arming banks with more cash at their disposal.

Inflation could drop below 4% by Q2 — ING

DECEMBER inflation likely slid further, with ING Bank expecting the rate to drop below 4% by the second quarter, allowing the central bank to undo last year’s rate hikes.

Poll bares outlook of slower Dec. inflation

INFLATION likely eased further in December as fuel and food costs continued to ease, analysts said in a BusinessWorld poll, even as some flagged that a spike in demand during Christmas may have buoyed prices.

BSP trims term deposit auction volume to P30B

THE CENTRAL BANK has slashed the amount of term deposits it will auction off this week to the lowest level in over two years due to weaker demand from banks just before the holiday season wraps up.

Risk-averse banks continue to shun agri lending

BANKS REMAIN reluctant to extend credit to the agriculture sector in the third quarter of 2018, the central bank said, lending out a little over half the legal minimum and preferring to incur penalties rather than take on the risk of lending to farmers.

Inflation likely eased in December — BSP

INFLATION likely eased further in December, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, with the rate possibly settling at the five percent level given lower fuel and rice prices.

Gov’t sets P360-B borrowing program for Q1

THE government is looking to borrow P360 billion during the first three months of 2019 through a mix of short and long-term papers, a third bigger than the amount programmed the previous quarter.

Japan still Philippines’ top ODA partner

JAPAN remains the biggest source of foreign funding for the Philippines, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Friday, accounting for nearly half the loan portfolio.

Peso ends 2018 stronger vs dollar but posts year-on-year plunge

THE PESO strengthened further on Friday, paring losses in the last trading day of 2018 due to weaker economic data in the United States that kept the dollar on a losing streak.

Moody’s Analytics expects inflation to have slowed further in December

INFLATION likely slowed sharply in December to a six-month low, in line with official expectations that overall price increases of basic goods will return to below four percent in 2019, according to a Moody’s Analytics economist.

Demand for term deposits drops

DEMAND for term deposits thinned this week, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) even rejecting some offers as banks asked for higher yields than usual.

ANZ Research sees smaller PHL trade deficit next year

THE PHILIPPINES will likely see a narrower external trade gap in 2019, a global bank said, citing help from falling oil prices in the world market.

Thrift banks’ bad loans expand at end-October

SOURED DEBTS held by thrift banks continued to climb in October, latest central bank data showed, with reserves for possible losses enough to cover just half the amount.

Rate hike impact on lending ‘limited’

“GRADUAL” interest rate hikes introduced by the central bank this year are unlikely to weigh on banks’ lending activities, with strong demand expected to be sustained despite higher borrowing costs.