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Philippines open bidding for ₱18 billion 2 New Frigates; No to Refurbished Italy Maestrale-class frigates as expensive

The Department of National Defense (DND) has finally earmarked ₱18 billion for two brand-new frigates for the Philippine Navy and opened the bidding for the ships aimed to boost military modernization.. Readmore...

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Philippines ask US P3C Orion spy planes to monitor over the South China Sea

China said last week it had begun "combat-ready" patrols in waters it said were under its control in the South China Sea, after saying it "vehemently opposed" a Vietnamese law asserting sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands. Readmore..

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Philippines set to be new Tiger Economy - Book Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles

The book "Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles," written by Ruchir Sharma, assessed the Philippines as one of the strongest emerging economies in the future where enhanced economic activities are to take place. "Now at long last, the Philippines looks poised to resume a period of strong growth. Readmore...

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China Claimed Spratlys, Palawan, Province of the Philippines

China TV Claimed Philippine is a China Territory activities are violations of the UNLCOS and China is violating the International Law of Sea. Beijing said its position on the South China Sea is consistent and clear-cut and is in accordance with the international law Readmore...

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Moodys upgrade Philippines credit rating to Investment grade level with SP, Fitch, JICA Japan Investment rating Agency

Philippines is now in Full investment grade level from all credit ratings Moodys, Fitch, Standard and Poor, JICA of Japan Investment.. Readmore...

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Forgetting the tons of Gold, Queen Sofia of Spain ended her visit to the Philippines

For 333 years Spain controlled the Philippines and shipped tons of gold of the country to the Mainland Spain. Poor infrastructure, low education, corruption, killings, slavery and Readmore...

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CHINA Spying the Philippines using Apps of IOS and Android named WeChat BEWARE Pinoys

With the continues spar in the West Philippines Sea, CHINA Spying the Philippines using Apps of IOS and Android named We Chat BEWARE Pinoys Readmore...

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Do Not Buy Made in China - Code 690 to 695

Do you know that iPhone and iPads are made in China? Codes will give you a hint where the products are made. Buying made in China will not just help the communist to invade the world but also, you would lose a lot for their low quality and sub standard products.. learn the code here Readmore...

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USA, Europe, Canada, Russia, Australia, Japan, Indonesia -Supports Philippines for Spratly Disputes

In a historic bilateral meeting held in Moscow on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to further improve relations between the two countries, Readmore...

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UN Approved! 13 Million Hectares Benham Rise belongs to the Philippines!

The United Nations has approved the Philippines' territorial claim to Benham Rise, an undersea landmass in the Pacific Ocean potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said Readmore...

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SP Raises Philippines Credit Rating to Stable and Positive Outlook to 9 Year High

Standard and Poor upgraded the Philippine Credit rating to Stable or Positve Outlook. The long term foreign currency denominated debt was raised one level SP said in a statement Readmore...

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USA Welcomes Philippine Banana after Ban from China over Scarborough Standoff

A Rotting of million dollars worth of world famous Philippines Banana in the Farms in Davao will end so soon after USA Government gives a go signal to import Philippines banana and export potatoes to the Philippines Readmore...

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Korean firms leading exodus from south China’s manufacturing hub- Moving to the Philippines

An executive from a Korean electronics company operating in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China said his firm recently built a plant in the Philippines. His and other companies working in China are apparently considering an exodus from China Readmore...

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AFP- Philippines 48 Fighter Jets, 6 Submarines, anti-ship cruise missile – Washington CNAS

The Philippines needs up to four squadrons (48) of upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets, more well-armed frigates and corvette-size, fast to surface combatant vessels and minesweepers and four to six mini submarines, possibly obtained from Russia Readmore...

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Moody’s ups outlook for Philippines, a sign for New Credit rating upgrade?

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image source: politico.com

Moody’s ups outlook for Philippines

MOODY’S Analytics has raised its full-year economic growth forecast for the Philippines following a surprisingly strong second quarter, but warned that continued government underspending amid tightened monetary policy could slow expansion next year.

 
“With the latest Q2 numbers, 2014 GDP growth [could hit] 6.2%. This sounds more realistic,” Moody’s Analytics senior economist Glenn Levine said in an e-mail yesterday, citing “exports [and] solid consumer demand” as drivers.

Second-quarter economic growth bested expectations after it expanded at a faster 6.4% from a downwardly revised 5.6% in the first three months of the year. The latest result, however, was still slower than the 7.9% notched in the April-June period a year ago.

For the first half, gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6%, slower than the 7.2% notched in the same six months in 2013.

The government targets GDP to grow 6.5-7.5% this year.

Last March, Mr. Levine had said GDP expansion could slacken to 5.8% this year from the two consecutive years of stellar growth of 6.8% in 2012 and 7.2% in 2013, in line with a projected region-wide slowdown as downside risks within and outside Asia Pacific persist.

A Moody’s Analytics report released separately yesterday said economies in Southeast Asia “are expected to expand 4.3% in 2014, well below their recent trend rate just over 5%.”

Nonetheless, the Philippines was cited for being one of the two strongest performers in the region in the first half of 2014, the other one being Malaysia.

The report -- written by Moody’s Analytics economist Fred Gibson -- noted that the Philippines “has shrugged off” effects of typhoon Yolanda which devastated parts of central Philippines on Nov. 8-9, while saying that political uncertainty has weighed on Indonesia and Thailand.

Growth prospects for the region are nevertheless much brighter next year due to “firming global demand and stronger domestic spending.”

“Export earnings are projected to improve over the next 18 months in line with firming global demand,” the report read.

“The US economy is on a sustained upward trend and the Chinese economy is responding positively to the government’s stimulus.”

“The outlook is sanguine for companies involved in the production of smartphones and PCs (personal computers) as the global tech cycle continues to trend higher. Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore will benefit,” it added.

IMPERILED

In the case of the Philippines, however, expansion of economic activity in the country could be imperiled by slow public and private spending, Mr. Levine said separately by phone yesterday.

“The fixed investment cycle is slowing quickly, both from the private sector and public sector. It’s fading quickly. The PPP (public-private partnership) pipeline has slowed,” Mr. Levine noted.

“That, coupled with slightly higher interest rates that run through investment channels, could ease GDP growth to 5.5% next year.”

Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury last Friday put the budget gap last month at just P1.8 billion -- down 97% from P53.2 billion a year ago -- as revenues grew 15% to P166.7 billion from P144.6 billion while expenditures fell 15% to P168.5 billion from P197.8 billion.

The government has set a P550.977-billion spending target for this quarter alone, of which P107.884 billion -- nearly a fifth -- is supposed to go to infrastructure needed to support accelerating economic activity.

July’s tally, in turn, nearly halved the budget gap to just P55.7 billion in the first seven months from P104.5 billion the past year, as revenues grew 12% to P1.101 trillion from P984.1 billion and expenses edged up just 6% to P1.156 trillion from P1.089 trillion.

Mr. Levine thus pressed the government to accelerate spending, particularly on ports, roads, airports, and utilities, “to get the push we need.”

STABLE SUPPORT

Another analyst, however, expects other drivers of growth to provide stable support for now.

In a separate note yesterday, economist Jun Trinidad of the research arm of Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., said “hopefully, private sector activities will continue to offset weak fiscal contribution to growth as evidenced by the second-quarter GDP growth... despite real fiscal expenditures were down 2.2% year on year.”

“This highlights benefits of investment-driven growth over the past years that resulted in a more diversified GDP growth base -- from non-tech manufacturing to BPO (business process outsourcing) and transport services. Any sector bbenefitingfrom investment flows can provide the upside growth surprise aside from the OFW (overseas Filipino workers) remittance story.”

Mr. Trinidad added that initial state spending slowdown after the Supreme Court ruled as illegal in July “acts and practices” to implement the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) -- which the administration had described as a stimulus measure -- should lift as soon as the dust settles on this controversy.

“Post-DAP brouhaha, legal clarity of what can and cannot be done within the budget system would no longer be a botteneck [sic],” Mr. Tridinad wrote, adding this would leave the usual weather and systemic constraints as the only real hurdles to growth.

“Other than inclement weather, fiscal challenge would be down to absorptive capacity constraints.” - Business World Online

 

 

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Philippines' Cebu Pacific "APPROVED" to fly to Myanmar, New Zealand

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Cebu Pacific - Asia's largest airlines - Photo: inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines–Cebu Pacific Air, the country's biggest budget carrier, has bagged regulatory approval to fly to new international destinations, including New Zealand and Myanmar.

Cebu Pacific said it was granted seat entitlements to mount added flights to Singapore, Macau and, from Cebu to Hong Kong. The increase was approved in a Civil Aeronautics Board meeting, it said.

"For the new routes such as New Zealand and Myanmar, Cebu Pacific is in the process of reviewing network plans and our options in terms of operations. We will make announcements soon as ready," Alex Reyes, general manager for Cebu Pacific's long haul division, said in a text message.

Cebu Pacific was granted seven flights weekly from Manila to New Zealand and 1,260 entitlements from Manila to Singapore, allowing the airline to upgrade its current daily Airbus A320 service to an Airbus A330 service.

In the same meeting, CAB designated Cebu Pacific Air as an official Philippine carrier to New Zealand, Myanmar and Canada.

Cebu Pacific's opposition to extension of the codeshare agreement between Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Emirates on the Manila-Dubai route which is set to expire in October 2014 was also granted by the CAB.

"We commend the CAB air panel for [its] wisdom in rendering decisions that allow Philippine carriers to expand services in international routes. This ultimately benefits the travelling public," said Jorenz TaƱada, Cebu Pacific Air vice president for corporate affairs.

Cebu Pacific Air is set to launch thrice weekly flights from Manila to Kuwait on Sept. 2, 2014, and four times weekly flights from Manila to Sydney on Sept. 9, 2014.

The carrier's 50-strong fleet comprises 10 Airbus A319, 28 Airbus A320, 4 Airbus A330 and eight ATR-72-500 aircraft. It claims to be one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. 

Between 2014 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 11 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 2 Airbus A330 aircraft, the statement showed.–Miguel R. Camus : Inquirer

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

FORBES: Top 50 Richest Philippine Businessmen - Are they paying Right Taxes? Ask Henares

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Henry Sy Sr. MIKE AMOROSO - By Louis Bacani (philstar.com)

Forbes: Richest Pinoys got richer

MANILA, Philippines - Forbes magazine released on Thursday its new list of 50 richest Filipinos, most of whom got richer this year.
Based on the updated list, the combined wealth of the country's 50 richest is a whopping $74.2 billion or P3.2 trillion, up 12 percent from $65.8 billion in 2013.
Shopping mall mogul Henry Sy topped the list for the seventh consecutive year with a net worth of $12.7 billion or P553.59 billion.
"[Sy] Retains top spot for seventh year in a row. Richer than ever, thanks to rising share price for his SM Prime Holdings, country's largest mall operator, and Banco de Oro," Forbes said.
Forbes staff Abram Brown noted that four newcomers join the top 50: the Po family, Dean Lao, the Concepcions and P.J. Lhuillier.
"The only loser in the Top 10 was Lucio Tan (No. 2), whose fortune fell on worries about the cigarette market," Brown said.
The list of the richest Filipinos and their estimated net worth:GMA Network executives Gilberto Duavit Jimenez Menardo and Felipe Gozon also saw their rankings fell while businessman Manuel Pangilinan and Lourdes Montinola dropped from the top 50.

1. Henry Sy; US$12.7 billion
2. Lucio Tan; $6.1 billion
3. Enrique Razon Jr.; $5.2 billion
4. Andrew Tan; $5.1 billion
5. John Gokongwei Jr.; $4.9 billion
6. David Consunji; $3.9 billion
7. George Ty; $3.7 billion
8. Aboitiz Family; $3.6 billion
9. Jaime Zobel de Ayala & family; $3.4 billion
10. Tony Tan Caktiong; $2 billion
11. Robert Coyiuto Jr., $1.8 billion
12. Lucio & Susan Co, $1.7 billion
13. Yap family, $1.475 billion
14. Manuel Villar, $1.460 billion
15. Inigo & Mercedes Zobel,$1.2 billion
16. Alfredo Yao, $1 billion
17. Andrew Gotianun $955 million
18. Vivian Que Azcona $935 million
19. Eduardo Cojuangco $870 million
20. Beatrice Campos $825 million
21. Po family $770 million
22. Oscar Lopez $700 million
23. Alfonso Yuchengco $685 million
24. Roberto Ongpin $680 million
25. Betty Ang $670 million
26. Dean Lao $625 million
27. Manuel Zamora $620 million
28. Carlos Chan $550 million
29. Jorge Araneta $510 million
30. Mariano Tan Jr. $445 million
31. Edgar Sia $390 million
32. Ramon Ang $380 million
33. Michael Romero $375 million
34. Concepcion Family $320 million
35. Philip Ang $315 million
36. Frederick Dy $310 million
37. Luis Virata $300 million
38. Alfredo Ramos $260 million
39. Wilfred Steven Uytengsu Jr. $255 million
40. Tomas Alcantara $250 million
41. Jose Antonio $240 million
42. Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. $235 million
43. Jacinto Ng $230 million
44. Gilberto Duavit $200 million
45. Menardo Jimenez $195 million
46. Eric Recto $190 million
47. Walter Brown $183 million
48. Felipe Gozon $182 million
49. P.J. Lhuillier $180 million
50. Juliette Romualdez $170 million
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Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan orders turnover of Marcos' looted $42 Million USD to Philippine Treasury

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch - Photo: investmentnews.com

Court orders turnover of Marcos' USD42M loot to govt

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has ordered the turnover to the government of 42 million US dollars in the so-called "Arelma" account of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The anti-graft court's Special Division issued a two-page writ of execution on the 18th of this month directing the transfer of the money from the Philippine National Bank to the Bureau of Treasury.

The funds represent Marcos assets, originally amounting to 2 million dollars deposited with Merrill Lynch Securities in New York in 1972 in the name of Arelma Foundation.

The order was based on a Supreme Court ruling dated March 12, 2014.

In the ruling, the High Court junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Imelda Marcos, on behalf of the late President, and affirmed its April 25, 2012 decision which held that "[a]ll assets, properties, and funds belonging to Arelma, S.A., with an estimated aggregate amount of $3,369,975 as of 1983, plus all interests and all other income accrued thereon" be forfeited in favor of government when these assets are transferred to the possession of the Republic of the Philippines.

The case stems from a petition for forfeiture filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) with the Sandiganbayan on Dec. 17, 1991 involving $356 million ($658 million as of the April 2012 SC ruling), and two treasury notes worth $25 million and $5 million, allegedly illegally amassed by the Marcoses.

The PCGG petition also sought the forfeiture of the assets of alleged dummy corporations and entities established by the Marcoses, as well as real properties and personal properties obtained by the couple "manifestly out of proportion" to their lawful income.

Sandiganbayan - photo: philippinechronicle.com

Arelma, which maintained an account and portfolio in Merrill Lynch, New York, was described by the PCGG in the petition as among entities purportedly organized by the Marcoses for "hiding ill-gotten wealth."

The PCGG stressed that the Marcoses could not have afforded to acquire Arelma because their combined lawful income for the period 1966 to 1986, or in the two decades they were in power, was only P2,319,583 or $ 304,372, or only 9% of the entire Arelma fund of $3.4 million in 1983.

The PCGG obtained a favorable ruling from the Sandiganbayan on April 2, 2009; the anti-graft court declared all assets and properties of Arelma, S.A. forfeited in favor of the government.

The Marcoses filed an appeal with the SC to seek a reversal of the Sandiganbayan ruling.

In its 2012 decision, the high court stressed that "in determining whether the presumption of ill-gotten wealth should be applied, the relevant period is incumbency, or the period in which the public officer served in that position."

"The amount of the public officer's salary and lawful income is compared against any property or amount required for that same period," the high court said.

In its final ruling, the high court said the arguments the Marcoses raised in their MR were already passed upon in the 2012 decision.

Marcos incorporated Arelma, S.A. under Panamanian law in 1972, he was already President then; in 2000, the account had grown to $35 million. - ABS-CBN News
 
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Charter Change (Cha-Cha) Kicks Off! Should Pro Win? Aquino could have 2nd Term?

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Cha-cha gets going

MANILA, Philippines - Floor debates over proposals to change economic provisions of the Constitution kicked off at the House of Representatives yesterday, with one of the proponents stressing that the effort is more about making future economic legislation responsive to Filipinos’ needs than giving foreigners the right to own land.

Davao City Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano, who chairs the committee on constitutional amendment, made this clear in response to interpellation of Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 (RBH 1) by Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello.

The plenary debates ended at past 7 p.m.

Albano said any proposed amendment to economic provisions of the Constitution would not be automatically written and adopted even if the resolution being discussed in the House is approved and ratified by the people.

Albano was the first to defend RBH 1 yesterday.

RBH 1, principally authored by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., seeks to include the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in some sections of Articles XII (national economy and patrimony), XIV (education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports) and XVI (general provisions).

This means the constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership will remain until Congress enacts specific laws to remove them.

In his interpellation, Bello pointed out that China, Indonesia and Vietnam have the same constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership of land but these did not hinder the massive flow of foreign investments to their economies.

“We have seen that in the most dynamic economies in Southeast Asia, constitutional ban on foreign ownership was not in fact a hindrance – it’s something that foreign investors have learned to live with,” Bello said.

Albano, however, pointed out that RBH 1 does not contemplate on directly writing amendments to the Constitution but only seeks to allow the country to adjust or adapt to future economic realities and contingencies.

She said the parliaments of China, Indonesia and Vietnam have passed numerous laws that tend to ease economic restrictions in their respective constitutions.

“That’s not the objective. We’re not saying we’re going to remove them (restrictions). We want to provide flexibility to our country on crafting economic policies to meet the exigencies that come our way,” Albano told Bello.

She said China has allowed long-term lease of up to 99 years for land, while Vietnam and Indonesia have also enacted laws that allow full repatriation of earnings of investors, among other legislation passed to attract investments.

Albano said land ownership is not the only concern addressed by RBH 1, but also other sectors and aspects of the economy.

She noted Congress recently ratified a bill allowing full foreign ownership of banks.

Leaders of the chamber said they would try to speed up passage of RBH 1 to protect it from possible attempts by some lawmakers to dilute it with proposals to amend the political provisions of the Constitution to allow President Aquino to seek another term.

A counterpart measure, authored by Sen. Ralph Recto, is pending in the Senate.

Belmonte earlier expressed confidence that there would not be much fuss over RBH 1 as it is aimed at attracting investments and boosting employment.

“This is just a simple change. The door (to investments) is still locked and we have to provide a legal key,” the Speaker said. “I suppose all the countries around us, in fact, have always been ahead in the area of foreign direct investments, so we really have to start thinking on what we should do.”

He said positive economic developments and high foreign investor confidence provide further justification for removing constitutional obstacles to investments. - philSTAR

 

 

 
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Philippine Economy likely grew over 6% in 2014 Q2 – FMIC

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Economy likely grew over 6% in Q2 – FMIC

 

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s economy is forecast to expand by over six percent in the second quarter of 2014, slower than the 7.5-percent growth in the same period last year, according to First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC).

Government forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) to grow between 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year.

In the first quarter of the year, the economy managed to expand a lower-than-expected 5.7 percent, as Super Typhoon Yolanda contributed to the poor performance.

But FMIC president Roberto Juanchito T.Dispo said clearer signs of recovery in the second quarter could serve as a positive momentum.

“We are quite confident that the economy will accelerate back towards the seven-percent growth part in the second half of 2014,” Dispo said. FMIC is a member of the Metrobank Group and one of the country’s leading investment firms.

He added that gains in industrial output look solid moving towards positive territory, employment growth at the start of the second quarter, and an anticipated momentum gain for government spending in the second semester of the year would get the Philippine economy back on track.

The FMIC executive said inflation is likely to accelerate in the third quarter to 4.8 percent or 0.5 percentage point higher than in the first three months of the year, due to the delayed importation of rice and the adverse impact on other food prices of Manila’s truck ban.

“We expect government spending to revert back to a 12-percent growth pace starting third quarter, with infrastructure spending continuing to lead the way,” Dispo said.

Exports are likewise seen to strengthen in the second semester as the US economy show solid signs of recovery with the help of speedier job creation. “China should continue to post seven-percent growth better for the second half, both adding to the demand for our export products,” the FMIC chief added.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expected to raise policy rate by another 25 basis points (bps) and the reserve requirements by another 100 bps towards the end of the year.

FMIC said that corporate bond issuance should pick up for the rest of the second semester of 2014 as the large issuers in the market have reached the single-borrower limits (SBLs).

Meanwhile, the FMIC report cautioned that the equity market will have to absorb BSP’s tightening measures.

“Valuations remain stretched and the sustainability of valuations hinges on earnings catching up, or the economy continuing to register strong growth,” Dispo said, adding that poor first semester GDP growth would force a downward bias in revised economic forecasting.

Nonetheless, the investment firm believes that in the present state of the equity market remains positive as it continues to challenge the 7,100-level.

“With these in mind, we believe selectivity is key to outperformance and rotation to value and low beta plays are preferred. We continue to like banks due to M&A themes, potential re-rating catalyst, and gaming stocks with properties located at Entertainment City in Manila,” it added. - philSTAR

 
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Britain Said: Philippines could be "Asia's Next Superpower to Watch" in the next 20 years - unrivaled

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NPPA/NPPA - MANILA, Philippines - Yahoo! interviews British Ambassador to the Philippines, Asif Ahmad, at the Yahoo! Philippines headquarters (Adrian Bautista/NPPA IMAGES)

 

PH is among Asia’s emerging powers, says British Ambassador

With its vast natural resources and an economic growth “that’s unrivaled by many across the region,” the Philippines is one of the emerging powers to watch, a diplomat has said.

“There’s no reason why over the next 20, 30 years, the Philippines will not fulfill the ambitions of what we believe the country has,” British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad told Yahoo Philippines in a recent interview. Ahmad has been deployed to the country for over a year now. 

Ahmad said that among the members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), he perceives the Philippines “as a leading member of it.”

“We have created our links, we invest more time in terms of visits and attention than other countries. It’s part of our narrative of emerging powers and we see the Philippines as one of them,” he added, noting that this is also why Great Britain takes pride as the single-largest investor in the Philippines from the European Union.

Even politics does not appear to be a threat. In fact, Ahmad believes discussions on political developments such the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP) are good.

“In any democracy, we see lively politics as being healthy and issues are being discussed in the open. It would be worse if corruption in the country like the Philippines or elsewhere was kept quiet or if the media are frightened to mention it,” he added.

But while a bright future appears to be in store for the Philippines, Ahmad admits the Philippine government has so much work to do. And if the Philippines wants to get the global attention it deserves, it must improve its airport and transport system.

“I’m looking at tourism, [PH has] a huge opportunity, the finest natural assets in the region. The challenge now, of course, is to how to get to each and every destination. [There must be] airport investment, reliable transport from A to B, and that in turn, generate employment…that’s a great opportunity,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad says untapped opportunities for the Philippines also include rural development. 

“If you have connections or infrastructure and transport systems, livelihoods will improve. People will be able to produce food not only for the Philippines but for export,” said Ahmad. - Yahoo News

 

 
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