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IMF cites weak exports, ongoing budget saga for downgraded GDP view

WEAKER EXPORTS and the delayed passage of the 2019 Budget triggered the downgrade to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast for the economy, an IMF official said.

World oil prices watched even as inflation eases toward target

INFLATION is expected to settle well below four percent this year, two global banks said, with one economist noting that only a steep rise in oil prices will push price increases beyond target.

Long-term foreign investments down for 6th month in January

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI) net inflows to the Philippines declined for the sixth straight month in January as more firms plucked out capital, still largely due to fears over global trade tensions, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Wednesday.

Yields on term deposits drop despite lower bids

YIELDS FETCHED for term deposits continued to fall this week, even as demand softened ahead of next week’s holiday break.

Banks’ rediscount borrowings increase in March

BANKS TAPPED more loans via the central bank’s rediscounting window in March, as credit for businesses and capital purchases rose during the period.

Tax amnesty set as BIR issues rules

FILIPINOS with overdue tax payments may start availing of tax amnesty later this month, following the release of the official guidelines by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

IMF joins other multilateral bodies in cutting Philippine growth outlook

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also tempered its growth forecast for the Philippines this year, in the face of a projected drop in world output.

Gov’t scrambles vs new tax cheat scheme

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) is teaming up with the Trade department in the ongoing crackdown on illegal cigarettes after uncovering a new scheme involving recycled tax stamps.

BSP approves operations of 3 new VC exchanges

THE CENTRAL BANK approved last month the operations of three new virtual currency (VC) exchanges in the Philippines.

Asian banks assured of state support

BIG BANKS in the Philippines and other major Asia-Pacific economies can be assured of “extraordinary” state support like bailouts in times of distress, faring better than peers elsewhere, S&P Global Ratings said in an April 5 report.

Slower-than-expected March inflation seen making case for cut in policy interest...

THE slower-than-expected March inflation rate bolsters the case for cuts in policy interest rates this year, bank economists said in separate analyses, with the adjustments expected as early as next month.

March inflation below expectation, gives BSP policy space

INFLATION further eased for the fifth straight month in March, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported, lending support to the central bank’s view that price increases will ease this year even as officials signaled caution against swift plans to cut policy rates.

Reserves climb further in March

GROSS international reserves (GIR) rose further in March for the fifth straight month, the central bank said on Friday, enjoying a boost from higher dollar deposits and income from offshore investments.

BSP signs currency settlement deals with ASEAN central banks

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has forged agreements with the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand as they look to set up direct settlement systems across currencies.

BDO raises P7.3 billion from LTNCDs

BDO UNIBANK, Inc. raised P7.3 billion from its latest issuance of long-term debt papers, with the fresh funding meant to support the lender’s expansion plans and rebalance its borrowing profile.

DBP posts higher income in 2018

STATE-RUN Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) reported a stronger net income in 2018, boosted by increased lending, particularly for infrastructure projects.

Peso climbs as BSP stays dovish despite easing inflation

THE PESO strengthened versus the dollar on Friday, bolstered by dovish cues from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) despite a slower-than-expected March inflation print.

Tighter credit, trade row to cap growth

THE UNITED NATIONS Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP) on Thursday joined other multilateral groups in scaling down growth forecasts for the Philippines, even as it assured that expansion will be faster than last year as more infrastructure projects go live.

Estonian firms seeking to be National ID suppliers

ESTONIAN companies have expressed interest in bidding for supply contracts for the national ID system, the Finance department said.

ADB, S&P temper PHL growth forecasts

THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY will likely grow faster this year with household and state spending on the rise, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and global debt watcher S&P Global Ratings said in separate reports released on Wednesday, even as global uncertainties have prompted them to slash growth projections for the country and for Asia Pacific in general.

Yields on term deposits decline on strong demand from lenders

DEMAND FOR term deposits nearly doubled this week, driving yields down as more banks wanted to park their excess funds under the central bank’s watch.

Bills carrying new BSP chief’s signature in circulation in next few...

NEW PESO BILLS carrying the signature of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno will be in circulation in the next few months.

First Digital Finance eyes 1M borrowers in two years

A NEW financial technology (fintech) player is looking to capture a million Filipino borrowers via their digital platform, banking on both online merchants and buyers to drive loan volumes.

GOCCs subsidies decline 70% in Feb.

SUBSIDIES to state-run corporations declined in February as fewer firms sought additional funding, the Bureau of the Treasury said.

WB cuts Philippine growth forecasts

THE World Bank scaled down its growth forecast for the Philippines as public spending will likely soften this year, together with concerns about the dry spell that could affect food prices and badly hit the poor.

Factory growth weakens in March

MANUFACTURING in the country improved at its slowest pace in eight months in March, as output increased at the softest rate in seven, according to the latest monthly survey IHS Markit conducted for Nikkei, Inc., that blamed softer demand for Philippine goods abroad and port congestion.

Analysts see March inflation slowdown

INFLATION likely maintained its descent in March as rice and food prices dropped further, analysts said in a BusinessWorld poll.

Realty price increases ease in Q4 2018 — BSP

PROPERTY prices increased slightly in the last three months of 2018, marking the smallest increment in over a year.

Banks’ foreign currency loans increase in 2018 on higher capital requirements

FOREIGN CURRENCY LOANS granted by local banks rose as of end-2018 as foreign firms needed additional working capital and funds for big-ticket investments, latest central bank data showed.

Business, consumer sentiment improves

INVESTOR and consumer sentiment received a huge lift as the year opened, riding expectations of more business and job opportunities, according to latest results of quarterly surveys which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on Thursday.

PHL resilient to global slowdown — BSP official

THE PHILIPPINES should be able to weather a US recession and global economic slowdown, a senior central bank official told reporters on Thursday, citing scope for monetary authorities and economic planners to sustain rapid domestic-driven growth.

TransUnion exploring cross-border credit data sharing

GLOBAL REMITTANCE FIRM TransUnion is exploring cross-border sharing of credit data, a tool seen to improve access to credit for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Banks’ bad loans grow in January

BAD LOANS held by big banks grew in January to outpace lending growth, the latest central bank data showed.

Bids for term deposits decline as BSP slashes auction volume

DEMAND FOR term deposits was halved this week as the central bank slashed the auction amount, in anticipation of higher cash requirements next month.

Fintech group sets financial inclusion objectives

A NEW INDUSTRY BODY has set goals for financial inclusion, as its members look to bring 25 million Filipinos aboard the formal financial system through the use of digital technology.

DBM releases salary, maintenance funding rules during budget deadlock

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released fresh guidelines on the government’s salary and maintenance funding requirements for the second quarter pending the resolution of the 2019 budget deadlock.

ANZ Research cuts 2019 GDP forecast for PHL to 6%

ANZ BANKING GROUP’s research arm downgraded its growth forecast for the Philippines this year to a four-year low, amid delays in the passage of the budget.

Tighter watch looms on realty loans

THE CENTRAL BANK plans to roll out by next year new tools to better monitor lending to the volatile real property sector, according to a senior official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

DoF estimates P22.5B/year foregone from illegals

THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT is pressing for a more aggressive campaign against unregistered foreign workers in Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) in the belief that the government has been missing out on P22.5 billion in income taxes yearly.

BTr makes partial award for T-bills

THE GOVERNMENT made a partial award for Treasury bills (T-bills) on offer yesterday, rejecting bids for three-month papers as demand shifts towards longer tenors.

PHL ‘out of the woods’ with inflation

THE PHILIPPINES appears “out of the woods” as far as inflation is concerned, with the overall rise in prices of basic goods seen consistently lower until the last few months of 2019, a senior central bank official said, although rising oil prices and the impact of severe weather may be disruptive.

Manila eyes more opportunities to link up with Belt and Road

THE PHILIPPINES is gearing up to secure additional funding support from China for local infrastructure projects, with the two economies enjoying deeper investment ties amid growing “mutual trust.”

Finance dep’t downplays record current account gap

THE RECORD current account deficit incurred in 2018 remains “financeable” as the government expects continued investment inflows from abroad, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

How women can be key to ‘unicorn’ start-ups

PROGRESS has been made in getting more women in the work force -- but now, the focus is shifting towards getting females on top.

BSP likely to cut rates by May

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will likely reduce key interest rates by May, noting that policy makers are likely growing more confident after inflation forecasts were slashed anew on Thursday.