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S&P cites stronger banking industry

S&P Global Ratings gave a higher score for the Philippine banking system, citing better growth prospects following enactment of a law strengthening the central bank.

Random fuel mark tests start June

THE FIRST ROUND of field tests for marked fuel is scheduled to start in June, with authorities expecting to cover at least 15 billion liters this year and crack down on other smuggled petroleum products.

Yields on term deposits mixed

TERM DEPOSITS saw demand slip this week just as the government floated retail Treasury bonds (RTBs) to investors, with yields showing mixed movements across tenors.

Gov’t exploring ways to ease port congestion

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) is looking to require international shipping lines to build warehouses outside Metro Manila to store empty containers, while fees charged to businesses that leave empty containers in ports beyond the allowable period could rise, as the government explores more ways to ease congestion at the Port of Manila.

RCBC net income steady at P4.3 billion on lending

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) saw its net income steady at P4.3 billion in 2018, flat from the previous year’s level and supported by increased lending across all segments.

Expanded card use to push growth in digital transactions

THERE IS huge scope to raise digital transactions in the country by pushing more Filipinos to use their bank cards beyond cash withdrawals, payments provider Visa said.

Fitch: Tax take key to hike in debt rating

A SUSTAINED rise in tax collections may trigger a debt rating upgrade for the Philippines, an analyst at Fitch Ratings said, noting that last year’s budget deficit will not affect the country’s credit outlook for now.

UnionBank targets bigger take from digital transactions

UNIONBANK OF THE Philippines, Inc. is eyeing bigger revenues from digital transactions in the coming years, as they expect investments on technology to improve financial services offered to clients.

Moody’s cites fiscal stability despite gap

THE PHILIPPINES remains on solid fiscal ground despite a bigger budget deficit last year, Moody’s Investors Service said, citing stronger revenue collections.

Economists see smooth transition at BSP helm

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is broadly expected to remain a strong regulator despite the death last Saturday of its governor, Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.

BSP to set higher fines for banks

HEFTIER FINES await banks and financial firms who will violate rules set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which officials hope will keep banks on their toes in terms of compliance.

Laguna bank shuttered

THE Monetary Board has shuttered the Rural Bank of Mabitac in Laguna, the second lender to fold this year.

Central bank chief Espenilla passes away

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. passed away on Saturday, Feb. 23. He was 60. The central bank's Corporate Affairs Office...

Fiscal deficit remains ‘manageable’ — Dominguez

THE wider-than-programmed budget deficit last year should not be a cause for concern, with authorities pointing out that infrastructure outlays as well as revenue effort are on the rise.

BSP mulls floating debt notes

THE central bank will consider floating debt notes at a time of a significant surplus in the financial market, noting that future issuances will have to be coordinated with the national government to avoid crowding out Treasury papers.

Japan pledges 3.2-B yen in loans for Mindanao projects

JAPAN has pledged additional grants for the Philippines following a joint meeting held in Osaka this week, which include funding for train simulators as well as projects for healthcare and peace efforts in Mindanao.

BSP to simplify licensing requirements for e-payments firms

THE CENTRAL BANK will soon allow banks and other financial firms looking to offer basic digital financial services to start operations without securing prior approval from the regulator, amid an industry push towards e-payments.

Peso climbs ahead on hawkish comments from Guinigundo

THE PESO strengthened versus the dollar on Friday, buoyed by hawkish comments from a central bank official and offshore inflows ahead of the sale of retail Treasury bonds next week.

Unofficial data show fiscal deficit breaching 2018 cap

By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter THE GOVERNMENT breached its deficit limit in 2018, as state spending shot past target to outpace the increase...

WB pushes 4.5% of GDP infrastructure spending

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES like the Philippines should invest more to improve living conditions and contribute to global efforts against climate change, the World Bank said.

Philippine National Bank raises P8.22B from 5.5-year LTNCDs

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Bank (PNB) raised P8.22 billion from the issuance of long-term notes to investors, with the additional funding meant to manage debts and offer more loans.

Jing An Special Risks gets license for local operations

A HONG KONG-BASED insurer has secured a license to operate in the Philippines, as it looks to provide cover against cyber threats and terror acts for local businesses.

Economic team wants 145 projects off poll ban

The EXECUTIVE branch will release funds this year according to state offices’ spending capacity despite Congress’ opposition to the scheme, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a press briefing on Wednesday, adding that President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s economic managers have signed a request for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to exempt 145 infrastructure projects from the 45-day ban on public works ahead of the May 13 mid-term elections.

PHL, Japan officials meet on infrastructure updates

PHILIPPINE officials are headed to Osaka this week for meetings with Japanese counterparts on plans for the new Bangsamoro region as well as infrastructure projects funded by official development assistance (ODA).

Term deposit rates drop

DEMAND SOARED for term deposits this week, pulling yields down across the board as the market remains awash with cash.

Moody’s cites risk to 2019 growth view

MOODY’S Investors Service sees a chance of even slower growth for the Philippines this year, with local construction works bogged down by budget delays and little support from subdued global demand.

January sees third straight month of BoP surplus, biggest in seven...

THE PHILIPPINES’ external position remained in surplus in January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Tuesday, marking the biggest surfeit in six years amid sustained dollar inflows.

Gov’t moves to implement rice tariff act, projects P7-11B collection

RICE IMPORTS starting March 5 will be covered by new tariffs under a newly signed law, with the measure expected to generate at least P7 billion in its first year of implementation.

AMRO sees PHL resilient vs 2019 risks

PHILIPPINE economic growth will likely pick up this year, a regional think tank said in a report released on Monday, even as it advised monetary and fiscal authorities to be mindful of short-term external risks and keep interest rates “appropriately tight.”

Philippines, Italy extend debt swap program for two years

THE GOVERNMENT secured a fresh two-year extension for a debt swap program with Italy which is expected to support seven projects funded through the platform, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a press statement on Monday.

European bank eyeing foray into local market

A EUROPEAN BANK has expressed interest to venture into the Philippines, a senior central bank official said, amid growing interest among foreign lenders to set up shop here.

PhilRatings gives top grade to China Bank

CHINA BANKING Corp. (China Bank) bagged the highest credit score from Philippine Rating Services Corp. (PhilRatings), with the lender seen keeping its solid footing amid expansion plans.

Gov’t zeroes in on online casinos

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has asked the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to include proof of tax registration and payment as a requirement to renew the licenses of offshore gaming operators, who have hired a growing number of workers from China.

Finance dep’t still open to general tax amnesty

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said it will push for a new measure that will provide a general tax amnesty, after such a provision was vetoed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte when he signed into law last Friday the reprieve for estate tax liabilities and national tax delinquencies in specific circumstances.

BSP takes heart from rice tariffication, charter change

TWO NEWLY ENACTED LAWS are seen to strengthen operations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), with monetary officials noting they will now have a better handle on inflation as well as on the financial system.

Marawi rehab drive raises nearly P42B

THE GOVERNMENT has so far raised nearly P42 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, the Department of Finance (DoF) said, representing two-thirds of the amount needed to rebuild the war-torn city.

Hot money off to a strong start

MORE FLIGHTY foreign funds entered the Philippines in January to post a two-month high, with more investors buying local stocks amid hopes that trade tensions between the United States and China will soon be resolved.

More funds needed to hike social outlay

THE PHILIPPINES can afford to increase state spending on social protection to help attain better living conditions by 2030, but it will have to raise more revenues to do so, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report released on Wednesday.

Truckers face new regulation

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) now requires trucking services to register with it, despite concerns from an industry group that its members are already heavily regulated.

Yields on term deposits inch up

APPETITE FOR term deposits picked up this week, pushing yields slightly higher as banks sought bigger returns for their excess cash.

Infrastructure delay, high interest rates to weigh on capital formation —...

CAPITAL FORMATION will likely hit a snag this year amid higher interest rates and delays in infrastructure projects, which in turn will pull growth below the state’s 7-8% goal.

Tax bureau sets targets, priorities for this year

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) expects to collect nearly P80 billion from the tax reform law this year, which should help boost total revenues to a fresh record high.

Bank of Taiwan starts operations in Philippines

THE Bank of Taiwan has started its operations in the Philippines, the central bank said, which comes months after receiving its license from the regulator.

Nov. FDI net inflow down for 4th month

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI) net inflow into the country slid for the fourth straight month in November, the central bank reported on Monday, bringing 2018’s running tally lower than a year ago.

Rediscount loans hit P14.5B in January

BANKS TAPPED the rediscount window of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as the year opened, with the extra cash meant to support import payments and capital spending.