Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Seven Philippine banks' ratings on review for possible downgrade - Moody's
Asia sees AIDS spreading due to ignorance, intolerance - WHO regional chief
Philippines economic and corporate news summary PQT64
Philippine movie actor to run for president
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Philippines economic and corporate news summary PPL28
Philippines' Supercity Realty eyes mass housing projects
Philippines' Camacho and Boncodin say Arroyo committed to fiscal discipline
Forex - Philippine peso firms on inflows, expected central bank intervention
Philippine economic chief maintains Q3 GDP growth forecast of 3.8-4.3 pct
Philippine Treasury rejects all bids for 3.0 bln pesos worth of 2-yr bonds
Philippine Airlines posts Q2 to Sept loss on seasonally weak passenger volume
Philippine Sept manufacturing output down 3.7 pct yr-on-yr by volume
STOCK ALERT - Philippine Globe Telecom firmer early on bargain-hunting
Philippine Uniwide's unsecured creditors want committee to oversee rehab
November 21 -
November 19 - 20
November 17 - 18
November 13 - 14
November 11 - 12
November 7 - 10
November 5 - 6
November 3 - 4
|Seven Philippine banks' ratings on review for possible downgrade - Moody's|
BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) - Moody's Investors Service said it has placed on review the foreign currency long-term deposit ratings of seven Philippine banks for possible downgrade.
The banks are Banco de Oro Universal Bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Development Bank of the Philippines, Equitable-PCI Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co, and Philippine National Bank.
The Not-Prime short-term deposit and the bank financial strength ratings of all seven banks are unaffected, it added.
Moody's said it also placed on review for possible downgrade the long-term local currency deposit ratings of Development Bank of the Philippines and Philippine National Bank.
All the ratings of Allied Banking Corp, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp and United Coconut Planters Bank are unaffected, it said.
Moody's said these actions follow its review of the Philippines' long-term foreign and local currency country ratings -- the Ba1 foreign currency long-term debt, Ba2 foreign currency bank deposits and Baa3 local currency bond -- because of heightened political uncertainties, which have begun to have adverse consequences for the government's financial position and the overall economy.
|Asia sees AIDS spreading due to ignorance, intolerance - WHO regional chief|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Ignorance, denial and intolerance have created an environment which allows HIV/AIDS to spread easily in Asia, the Western Pacific regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.
"Blaming people and making moral judgements do not help stop the disease from spreading," said Shigeru Omi in a statement issued from the regional headquarters here.
He warned that the "stigmatized groups tend to become more hidden and opportunities for giving them treatment and information are lost," spreading the disease even further.
To address this, Omi said that World AIDS Day on December 1 will focus on the need to eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
He remarked that, in Asia, cultural and religious beliefs often stigmatized vulnerable sectors, such as drug users, sex workers and homosexuals, causing some societies to deny the existence of the problem.
Omi said the Western Pacific region accounts for 1.4 mln of the world's 40 mln HIV/AIDS cases, but it is feared the number will rise due to discrimination and fear.
The WHO has previously warned that high-risk behavior was increasing in the region and that there are signs of growing levels of infections, particularly in Mongolia, the Philippines and Pacific island countries.
|Philippines economic and corporate news summary PQT64|
BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) - A summary of Philippine economic and corporate news at 0500 GMT
-Philippine movie actor to run for president
|Philippine movie actor to run for president|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Philippine movie icon Fernando Poe Junior, an ally of deposed president Joseph Estrada, said he will run for president in elections in May next year.
"There comes a time when a man faces the hardest decision of his life and this time has come to me now," Poe, popularly known as "FPJ," told supporters and journalists.
He will face incumbent President Gloria Arroyo, who has said she would defend her post.
Poe, 64, commands a huge following across the Philippines, where he is considered the local version of Hollywood hero John Wayne.
He is consistently one of the top five preferred candidates cited in recent national surveys and is popular among the poorest classes of society, which account for four out of 10 Filipinos.
Among others who have said they would run are former senator and ex-education secretary Raul Roco and former national police chief and opposition senator Panfilo Lacson.
A high school drop-out who has never held public office, Poe conceded that his qualifications were "not much compared to others but I would like to be given a chance.
"I'm sincere and dedicated and I love my country," he said.
Poe said that in due time, he would present a "platform of government and I will introduce to you, my economic team."
The movie hero, flanked by his wife, said that gaining the presidency was "not an ambition but more of serving with my life."
Poe conceded that he did not have a political party and would likely have to go through the selection process of the main opposition party, but he added "if they will adopt me, why not?"
He started out in the movies with close friend Estrada, who rose from being a town mayor to president in the 1998 elections.
Estrada was deposed by a popular revolt in 2001 amid charges of massive corruption. He is now in detention while being tried.
|Philippines economic and corporate news summary PPL28|
BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) - A summary of Philippine economic and corporate news at 1000 GMT
-Sept manufacturing output by volume down 3.7 pct yr-on-yr
-Sept manufacturing sales by volume down 1.5 pct yr-on-yr
-Sept avg capacity utilization 77.5 pct vs revised 78.6 pct in Aug
-Philippine economic chief maintains Q3 GDP growth forecast of 3.8-4.3 pct
-End-June FCDU loans 4.928 bln usd, down 4.0 pct from end-March
-Jan-Oct govt-approved investments up 22 pct year-on-year
-Philippine Treasury rejects all bids for 3.0 bln pesos worth of 2-yr bonds
-Camacho and Boncodin say Arroyo committed to fiscal discipline
-Philippine Airlines posts Q2 to Sept loss on seasonally weak passenger volume
-Uniwide's unsecured creditors want committee to oversee rehab
-Music Corp to cut loss on music.com investment
|Philippines' Supercity Realty eyes mass housing projects|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Construction firm Supercity Realty Development Corp, which will list its shares on the local bourse on Dec 19, said it plans to focus on mass housing projects in the so-called Calabarzon areas as well as in Bulacan.
Calabarzon, which includes the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon, and Bulacan will be the site of low-cost housing projects of Supercity, said company president Arthur Aguilar.
Supercity is to issue 50 mln new common shares at 1.10 pesos per share.
Its offering period begins today and ends Dec 3, with Abacus Capital Investment Corp as underwriter.
Supercity will use the proceeds of 50 mln pesos for the establishment of a plant for mass production of ready-mix concrete and major raw materials for land development, purchase of capital equipment, as well as payment of loans and working capital.
It expects net profit this year to hit 6.15 mln pesos, 12.66 mln in 2004, and 16.61 mln in 2005.
(1 usd = 55.53 pesos)
|Philippines' Camacho and Boncodin say Arroyo committed to fiscal discipline|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The government will continue to observe fiscal discipline even during the election year of 2004 as President Gloria Arroyo is committed to maintaining this policy, Finance Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho and Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin said.
Camacho, whose resignation from the Arroyo cabinet takes effect Nov 30, said concerns raised by some sectors that the government will disregard fiscal discipline and spend more to win votes for administration candidates are "baseless."
"The President herself is committed to fiscal discipline," he told reporters in a news briefing, after announcing Friday that he has decided to resign from the government due to "frustration (that) comes with the job."
Camacho has never been more specific about the reasons for his decision to quit, but he insists it was a personal decision, without any political considerations.
He said most of his undersecretaries will stay on.
He announced his decision after releasing the October fiscal figures, which showed the budget deficit at 21.172 bln pesos, lower than the ceiling of 22.333 bln, thanks to higher revenue collection during the month.
In the 10 months to October, the deficit reached 163.875 bln pesos, below the ceiling of 171.88 bln.
Camacho said the favorable fiscal performance in October makes the government even "more optimistic" of containing the budget deficit level within the full-year target of 202.00 bln pesos.
He said the 2004 national budget, which Congress has yet to pass, also reflects the government's adherence to fiscal discipline.
"It's like our fiscal discipline has been cast on stone. I'm very confident that we will meet the fiscal targets this year and the next," he said, adding that there has been no historical pattern that government spending increases before and during elections.
Boncodin said the government's fiscal program for 2004 has long been prepared, "and we won't backtrack on that."
She said "some people" also want her to resign, but she said she is staying on.
(1 usd = 55.53 pesos)
|Forex - Philippine peso firms on inflows, expected central bank intervention|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The peso closed firmer against the US dollar on some foreign exchange remittances from Filipino workers abroad and expectations that the central bank will intervene further to support the local unit, dealers said.
They said it also helped that there were no fresh negative news to weigh on sentiment as the market has already factored in the resignation of Finance Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho.
The peso closed at 55.530 to the dollar after trading between 55.470 and 55.640 on volume of 95.4 mln usd. It closed at 55.560 yesterday.
The country's financial markets will be closed tomorrow for Eid al-Fitr, the feast marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
"There are three factors behind this slight recovery. One, the market has already priced in Camacho's resignation. Two, there were some remittance inflows. And three, the market was expecting the central bank to intervene in the market again and prevent the peso from sliding beyond 55.700," a commercial bank dealer said.
Earlier today, central bank governor Rafael Buenaventura said the peso's fall to 55.700 Monday was "overdone."
He, however, denied market talk of central bank support for the peso yesterday, although he accepted that the peso is expected to "remain volatile for some time" due to lingering political and security concerns.
Political re-alignments have already begun six months before the elections, while the number kidnappings and bank robberies is on the rise.
|Philippine economic chief maintains Q3 GDP growth forecast of 3.8-4.3 pct|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said he is maintaining his year-on-year growth forecast of 3.8-4.3 pct for the country's gross domestic product for the third quarter.
The official numbers are to be announced on Thursday.
He said he expects the fourth quarter to see stronger GDP growth, aided by the recovery in the global economy, favorable weather conditions, and higher public spending.
Neri's latest statement follows the release earlier today of September manufacturing data, which showed a drop of 3.7 pct year-on-year in output by volume versus 4.7 pct revised growth in August.
The National Statistics Office said manufacturing sales in the last month of the third quarter also declined 1.5 pct year-on-year in volume terms from revised growth of 7.9 pct in August.
Economists polled by AFX-Asia have projected the Philippines' GDP to have expanded at a faster pace of 3.8-4.5 pct year-on-year in the third quarter than the 3.2 pct growth in the preceding quarter, due to a strong recovery in agricultural output.
They also see increased government spending and sustained gains in the services sector also aiding economic growth in the third quarter.
"Although the actual estimates for the third quarter will be released on Nov 27 by the National Statistical Coordination Board, my independent estimate is for GDP to have grown by 3.8-4.3 pct due to recent indicators such as the good performance of the agricultural, industry and services sectors," Neri said in a statement.
In a telephone interview, however, Neri said he will assess the likelihood of the government attaining its full-year GDP growth target of 4. 2-5.2 pct after the release of the third quarter GDP data.
|Philippine Treasury rejects all bids for 3.0 bln pesos worth of 2-yr bonds|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The Bureau of Treasury said it rejected all tenders for two-year T-bonds at today's auction, due to high rates offered by participating banks.
The government offered 3.0 bln pesos worth of bonds with a coupon rate of 8.75 pct. Tenders totaled 4.49 bln pesos.
Treasury officials said the rates offered were even higher than the secondary market rate.
(1 usd = 55.60 pesos)
|Philippine Airlines posts Q2 to Sept loss on seasonally weak passenger volume|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Philippine Airlines said it widened its net loss in the second quarter to September to 383.8 mln pesos from 37.3 mln a year ago due to weak passenger volume.
In its financial report submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, PAL noted that the months of July, August and September are a traditionally lean season for passenger traffic.
It said passenger revenues "further decreased during the...quarter mainly due to the lower number of passengers carried."
PAL posted operating revenues of 9.87 bln pesos from 10.74 bln in the same quarter in the previous fiscal year.
The flag carrier said, however, that operating expenses were down slightly to 9.10 bln pesos from 9.33 bln.
"While flying operations and depreciation expenses increased, maintenance and repairs and aircraft and traffic servicing, on the other hand, contributed to the decrease in operating expenses," it said.
PAL earlier booked a full-year to March net profit of 295 mln pesos, a turnaround from a net loss of 1.61 bln pesos last year.
In the April-July period, however, it recorded a net loss of "over 900 mln pesos" as its passenger volume was adversely affected by the SARS outbreak.
(1 usd = 55.60 pesos)
|Philippine Sept manufacturing output down 3.7 pct yr-on-yr by volume|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Manufacturing output in September dropped 3.7 pct year-on-year in volume terms from 4.7 pct revised growth in August, the National Statistics Office said.
Manufacturing sales in September also declined 1.5 pct year-on-year in volume terms from 7.9 pct revised growth in August.
The NSO earlier reported August output rose 7.0 pct year-on-year and sales grew 9.3 pct year-on-year, both in volume terms.
In value terms, manufacturing output in September rose 3.1 pct year-on-year, while sales increased 6.7 pct year-on-year.
In August, output rose a revised 11.2 pct year-on-year, and sales rose 7. 9 pct, both in value terms.
The average capacity utilization rate of the manufacturing sector dipped to 77.5 pct in September from a revised 78.6 pct in August.
The NSO said manufacturing output by volume dipped in September mainly due to lower production of leather products, tobacco, footwear and apparel, electrical machinery, fabricated metal products, non-metallic mineral products, beverage and food manufacturing.
Month-on-month, manufacturing output in volume terms in September also dropped 2.6 pct as significant decreases were observed in leather products, tobacco, electrical machinery, paper and paper products and rubber products.
In value terms, manufacturing output rose slightly in September from a year ago, due to a 196.3 pct increase in basic metals, followed by other sectors such as non-electrical machinery, textile, petroleum products, miscellaneous manufacturing, wood and wood products and chemical products.
On a month-on-month basis, September sales in value terms declined 1.2 pct from August, due to the sluggish performance of leather products, tobacco, electrical machinery, paper and paper products and rubber products.
|STOCK ALERT - Philippine Globe Telecom firmer early on bargain-hunting|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Globe Telecom was firmer in early trade as investors started buying the stock after recent declines, dealers said.
They said bargain-hunters are focused on stocks with good fundamentals.
Globe Telecom was top-traded, up 10.00 pesos at 750, on 113,570 shares worth 85.2 mln pesos.
Turnover was boosted by cross sales worth 80.30 mln pesos.
(1 usd = 55.62 pesos)
|Philippine Uniwide's unsecured creditors want committee to oversee rehab|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Retailer Uniwide Holdings said a group of unsecured creditors has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to institute a management committee that would oversee its rehabilitation, instead of a one-man rehabilitation receiver.
Uniwide's unsecured creditors comprise 14 contractors who hold about 1.7 pct of the company's total debts, it told the stock exchange in a disclosure.
The SEC in May appointed lawyer Julio Elamparo as rehabilitation receiver of the company, replacing a three-man receiver committee.
The appointment came after the Gow family, majority owner of Uniwide Holdings, asked the SEC to dissolve the three-man receiver committee and to appoint Jose Araullo of the Punongbayan Araullo auditing firm as permanent receiver.
(1 usd = 55.56 pesos)