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Daily Dispatch. 2015.

Hyundai Rotem wins $440-M turnkey project in PH 10 Dec 2015

1. Hyundai Rotem wins $440-M turnkey project in PH
Under the deal signed with Universal LRT Corporation Limited, a consortium led by Hyundai Rotem will build a subway line linking Quezon City North EDSA in Manila to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, which is located in the northern part of the country.

Movenpick to add 4 more PH hotels
International hotel and resort operator Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is planning to triple the number of hotels and resorts that it is managing here in the Philippines, on top of its existing hotel in Cebu and another one that is being built in Boracay under its brand.

Bank lending grew 13.1%; M3 up 8.3% in December
In peso value, bank lending amounted to P5.119 trillion at the end of 2015. Including banks’ reverse repurchase (RRP) placements with the BSP which are central bank loans from the banks, the total was P5.412 trillion. With RRPs, bank lending grew by 12.2 percent in December from November’s 13.5 percent.

Car financing venture set up with BDO Leasing, Mitsubishi, Sojitz, JACCS
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, BDO said its leasing unit will own 40% while Sojitz/MMPC/JACCS together will hold a 60% stake in the joint venture, to be named MMPC Auto Financial Services Corp.

SBS appoints new president as founder steps down
SBS PHILIPPINES Corp. said its president has tendered his resignation effective Friday, and it appointed a replacement from the chemical distribution industry to lead the firm’s expansion in Asia Pacific.

BPI mutual funds, UITF swell to P261 B
BPI senior vice president Mario T. Miranda heads the asset management group (AMG), which oversees all investment funds.
The AMG investment funds is composed of the BPI Asset Management, Odyssey Funds, and the BPI Investment Management Inc. (BIMI), the latter manages the mutual funds under the generic brand name, ALFM Mutual Funds. Funds under BPI Asset Management and Odyssey Funds are unit investment trust funds (UITFs).

Xurpas eyes $70-M stock offering in 2016 4 Dec 2015

1. Xurpas eyes $70-M stock offering in 2016
Listed technology firm Xurpas Inc. is considering a $70 million stock offering next year to increase liquidity of its shares as well as to raise funds for its aggressive acquisition program.

Italpinas may venture into tourism, office development after IPO
“We’re really considering tourism development and BPO [business process outsourcing]. We’re open to different styles but what’s more important to us is that the designs are consistent with [green energy],” Leviste (IDC President) further said.
On Monday, IDC is scheduled to formally list its shares at the PSE.

Bank sees peso weakening to 48.50 to $1
At the end of this year, the local currency is forecast to close at 47.50 to $1. By next year, the currency could fall by another peso to hit the 48.50: $1 level, according to Standard Chartered bank.

PH among least financially literate
Standard & Poor’s ranked 140 countries in terms of financial literacy and found that adults in Asian countries knew the least about monetary ideas, including risk diversification, inflation and compound interest.
The Philippines was one of the 30 least financially literate countries in the world, with only 25 percent of adults aware of the basics of managing their money.

PAL, Cebu Pacific among most profitable airlines
Cebu Pacific Air (Capa) and Philippine Airlines were among the five most profitable airlines in Southeast Asia during the first nine months of 2015, a period marked by more “rational” capacity and low fuel prices, think tank Capa Center for Aviation said in a report this week.
Data compiled by Capa showed that Cebu Pacific booked a profit of $156 million while PAL earned $124 million during the January to September period. They were just behind Malaysia AirAsia, with a profit $220 million, and Singapore Airlines, which earned $203 million.

Global slowdown, trade deals threaten PH firms
“What we see are two major global trends. One is the fact that the global economy may be facing a slowdown because of a lot of things going around the world, including political uncertainties in the Middle East and Europe,” said Roberto Martin N. Galang, operations officer for Trade and Competitiveness at the World Bank. However, the bigger trend, according to Galang, is the separation of growth and trade.

China Bank investment house gets SEC approval
“China Bank Capital obtained the SEC approval to begin operations. In May this year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved China Bank’s P500 million investment in China Bank Capital which will provide capital raising, merger and acquisition, financial restructuring, debt and securities underwriting, and economic advisory services to all types of public and private companies,” it said in a separate disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Are Filipinos buying or renting [properties]?
Global property website Lamudi Philippines recently released data which shows that among 25- to 34-year-old users, 57.3 percent are checking out for-sale properties in the website, compared to 42.7 percent of users who look for for-rent properties.
In terms of areas, Quezon City remains the Philippines’ most popular place to search a property, whether to rent or to buy, according to Lamudi.

D.M. Wenceslao postpones IPO; timetable deemed ‘too tight’ 1 Dec 2015

1. D.M. Wenceslao postpones IPO; timetable deemed ‘too tight’
INTEGRATED construction and real estate firm D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc. has reconsidered its plan to conduct its P12.3-billion initial public offering (IPO) this year, becoming the latest firm to push back its debut at the stock market.

SEC defers action on PSE, PDex merger
The SEC gave the PSE 15 more days to clarify issues. It has likewise committed to issue a decision on whether or not to approve the merger within 60 days upon receipt of the PSE’s clarificatory letter.

China Bank to open 11 branches before yearend
The planned additional branches will bring the Sy-led bank’s branch network to 508, from the current 497, which includes 165 branches from subsidiaries China Bank Savings (CBS) and Plantersbank.

DBP to expand services with Daiwa partnership
DBP said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Daiwa to provide Philippine and Japanese companies with investment banking advisory services and support for their financing needs from the Philippine and overseas capital markets.

From micro to major
Jose Mari del Rosario was a nominee for this year’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines award. He is the president and chief executive officer of Microtel Inns and Suites (Pilipinas), Inc. (MISPI) and Microtel Development Corp, which provides no-frills hotels in the country, particularly targeting the middle market. His success story based on his determination and a keen eye.

Philippines leads call for climate change funding
Ahead of climate change talks in Paris beginning today (Nov 30), the Philippines led other emerging nations in pressing developed countries to provide more funds to their poorer counterparts and even top their $100-billion commitment six years ago.

Andrew Tan’s Emperador buys Spain’s Fundador
LISTED liquor company Emperador Inc. owned by tycoon Andrew L. Tan has acquired Fundador Pedro Domecq, Spain’s largest and oldest brandy, in an “all-cash” deal worth 275 million euros, or P13.8 billion, the Inquirer learned Monday.

Broker posts 220% online user growth
According to the firm, it has grown its online user base by 220 percent in just 11 months from 5,000 as of the end of 2014 to more than 15,000 as of November 30, 2015.

PSE weighing options on PDS buyout 26 Nov 2015

1. PSE weighing options on PDS buyout
THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is still hoping to secure the corporate regulator’s approval to complete its planned buyout of PDS Holdings by the deadline today (Nov. 27).

Security Bank to exit property business
In a brief disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, the Dy-led bank said it will sell its 51.81% stake in Security Land, its property subsidiary, which is a joint venture with a Singaporean firm and a local partner.

D.M. Wenceslao halves IPO’s ceiling price
INTEGRATED construction and real estate firm D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc. slashed by nearly half the ceiling price of its initial public offering (IPO) that will raise up to P12.3 billion, an amount that will still make it this year’s biggest maiden share sale.

ADB okays PHL’s $600M loan for PPP support
The first $300 million loan is earmarked to support expanded private participation in infrastructure investment through the promotion of PPP projects.
The second loan, for the same amount, supports policy changes to deepen the nonbank financial sector to unlock more long-term private funding for infrastructure.

Metro office space vacancy rate rising
Vacancy rate in the office space market is on the rise as supply hits its peak of 870,000 square meters by next year, but this is no cause for worry of possible property bubble as excess supply can be met in 2017-2018, a property management consultancy services firm said.

BDO seeks to grow Japanese business
THE COUNTRY’S leading lender Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. seeks to capture more business from Japanese enterprises through a deeper partnership with FIDEA Group, a holding firm for major Japanese banks.
In a press statement on Wednesday, BDO announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with FIDEA Holdings Co. Ltd. that will allow the local lender to provide support to FIDEA’s Japanese clients which are planning to invest in the Philippines.

Revenue effort target breached in Q3
The Aquino administration is collecting more revenues than targeted even as the economy slowed down in the third quarter, but the Department of Finance (DOF) said this does not mean there is space for an income tax cut.

New requirements set for quasi-banks
THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has required quasi-banks to also appoint chief compliance officers (CCOs) to oversee a program against business risks, years after it set the same requirement for big banks and financial institutions.

Awarding of largest PPP deal faces hitches
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in a Nov. 24, 2015 bid bulletin that the submission date for the P171-billion South Line of the North South Railway PPP project has been moved from Dec. 1, 2015 to Feb. 1, 2016.

Big firms bag PSE’s 2015 Bell Awards
During the Philippine Stock Exchange’s 4th Bell Awards on Wednesday night, Pangilinan-led Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Philex Mining were honored alongside Ayala-led Globe Telecom, Sy-led China Bank and Aboitiz Equity Ventures.

Marriott becomes world's largest hotelier, buying Starwood 13 Nov 2015

1. Marriott becomes world's largest hotelier, buying Starwood
Hotel behemoth Marriott International is becoming even larger, taking over rival chain Starwood in a $12.2 billion deal that will catapult it to become the world's largest hotelier by a wide margin.
The stock-and-cash deal, if completed, will add 50 percent more rooms to Marriott's portfolio and give it more unique, design-focused hotels that appeal to younger travelers. The deal is expected to close in the middle of 2016.

Metro Manila office rentals seen dropping
Office rents in Metro Manila’s major business districts are expected to drop between three to five percent in the next 12 months as a slew of new office supply come in, real estate services firm Colliers International Philippines said.

Inclusive growth a key priority at APEC summit
THE 21 MEMBER economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will this week gather their leaders, ministers and senior officials in Manila to discuss issues relating to trade, investments and development with the aim of once again coming up with a common plan on how to bring greater prosperity to the region.

Italpinas prices IPO at a discount
PROPERTY DEVELOPER Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) on Friday announced the final offer price for its maiden share sale this month, pegging it 14% lower than the initial maximum price.

Asian stocks fall as Paris attacks sends economic worries
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 cascaded downward 0.8 percent to 19,443.68 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost nearly 0.7 percent to 5,017.30. South Korea’s Kospi was down nearly 1 percent at 1,954.47. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.7 percent to 22,013.34 while the Shanghai Composite slipped 1.6 percent to 3,522.46. Taiwan shares were also down.

Ayala Land bags P4B ITS-South Terminal project
The ITS construction is set to commence in August 2016 and be completed in 18 months or in January 2018.

SEC prepares bill seeking to ease bank secrecy law
Lifting bank secrecy is necessary for the Philippines to become a signatory to an international agreement.
Herbosa (SEC Chairman) said the Philippines needs to sign the MMoU to become an “active participant” of the Asia Region Funds Passport (ARFP), an initiative that would ease cross-border fund flows among members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

DMCI bags P2.9 B projects in Q3
In a briefing Thursday night, D.M. Consunji Inc. first vice president Rebecca Civil said the pipeline of projects comprises residential buildings, office spaces, a creative hub, power plants and water facilities.

Three IPOs bag final clearance
D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc., Datem, Inc. and Italpinas Development Corp. are poised to brave “challenging” market conditions after securing the green light from the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) to launch their initial public offerings (IPOs) cumulatively worth some P26.6 billion.

PSE buys 8% of bond exchange operator
THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has reached a deal to acquire the stake of another minority shareholder of PDS Holdings, Inc., moving the bourse closer to its plan of creating a single trading platform for the equities and fixed-income exchanges.

Hotels pressured by ‘sharing economy’
HOTELS must embrace the age of mass personalization to survive, as the industry goes through a period of unprecedented change amid the rise of a digital economy that threatens traditional operating models and sales channels

SEC clears P21.7-B DM Wenceslao IPO 9 Nov 2015

1. SEC clears P21.7-B DM Wenceslao IPO
Based on the registration statement filed with securities regulators, DM Wenceslao will sell up to 493.54 million shares, including an overallotment option of 64.37 million shares at a maximum price of P44 each.

AXA Philippines buys Charter Ping An
MANILA, Philippines - AXA Philippines is acquiring Charter Ping An for P2.3 billion, marking the consolidation of the Ty family’s life and non-life insurance businesses under one operation.

Manila Water pursues new investment in Indonesia
Ayala-owned Manila Water Co. Inc. is once again attempting to establish presence in Indonesia through a demonstration project for non-revenue water reduction that may pave the way for investment in the city of Bandung.

Cebu office market seen to boom further
Colliers International said the Cebu office market, despite remaining a relatively small market compared to Metro Manila, has grown more than 57 percent in demand since 2013.

Philippines, Indonesia deposit insurers forge cross-border agreement
State-run deposit insurers of the Philippines and Indonesia have inked a cross-border cooperation agreement for information and expertise sharing

PLDT partners with Airbnb
While the partnership is seen to benefit Filipino travelers, Airbnb and PLDT are also exploring ways to work together to make it easier for homes and unique hospitality businesses to list on the platform.

Sin tax collection tops P104 B, exceeds target anew
Tax revenue from so-called “sin” products exceeded the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) target by more than a fourth in the first three-quarters of the year due to strong sales of cigarettes.

Italpinas’ IPO plan cleared 2 Nov 2015

1. Italpinas’ IPO plan cleared
PROPERTY DEVELOPER Italpinas Development Corp. obtained the corporate regulator’s green light to undertake its P242-million initial public offering (IPO) in what could be the fifth maiden stock market listing this year.
According to the latest available IPO timetable, the offer period will run from Nov. 3 to Nov. 9 with listing of the shares on the Small, Medium and Emerging (SME) Board of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) slated on Nov. 16.

World Bank urges Philippines to simplify business regulations
In a briefing last week, World Bank Philippine office senior country economist Karl Kendrick Chua said business regulations in the Philippines tend to be cumbersome and limit the growth of innovative entrepreneurship and investments.
“Indicative estimates suggest the high cost of doing business is clearly a toll on the country’s inclusive growth agenda. We don’t have exact numbers, but if we have simpler regulations, we are seeing anywhere from at least P5 billion to P10 billion in new investments that can come in,” Chua said.

PH eyes foreign bond sale before yearend
THE GOVERNMENT is looking at selling bonds offshore earlier than usual to secure funding for next year’s expenditures, National Treasurer and Finance Undersecretary Roberto B. Tan said last week.

South Korean bank starts Philippine operations
The central bank on Sept. 24 issued a Certificate of Authority to Operate to the Korean bank, according to Circular Letter 2015-066 that was signed by BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. on Oct. 28 and subsequently uploaded on the BSP Web site.
Signed into law by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III in July last year, Republic Act (RA) 10641, or An Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines, amended certain parts of the two decade-old RA 7721.

Global warming expected to reduce productivity in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia over the next three decades could lose 16% of its labor capacity due to rising heat stress, which could cause absenteeism due to dizziness, fatigue, nausea and even death in extreme cases, British firm Verisk Maplecroft said.

Why top PHL developers are expanding in China
Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Land Corp. on Tuesday said it acquired land use rights to an 8.5-hectare (ha) property in Chengdu, becoming the third major local property developer to venture into China’s real estate market after SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Land, Inc.

BSP plans new coins by 2019
“By 2018-2019, we should have one set of new-generation banknotes and one set of new-generation coins both with cutting-edge security features,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo told reporters in a briefing in Manila.

EastWest secures SEC approval for life insurance joint venture 25 Oct 2015

1. EastWest secures SEC approval for life insurance joint venture
EAST WEST Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) has secured another requisite approval to set up its planned joint venture life insurance company with Belgium-based insurer Ageas Insurance International N.V. (Ageas).
The initial paid-in capital of the joint venture will be P2 billion and EastWest Bank will hold 50% minus one share, while Ageas will hold 50% plus one share. The bank said it will get approximately 50% income share from the life insurance company. The partnership will be for a 20-year exclusive distribution agreement, EastWest Bank said.

Ayala Land expands Seda brand
AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is expanding the hotel formats of its homegrown brand as part of a plan to triple its room count in the next five years.
“The resorts are in El Nido. We’re looking at other opportunities as well. For the serviced apartments, we have in Makati, Cebu and we’re also putting up one in BGC (Bonifacio Global City) -- all under the Seda brand,”

CPG in talks with international hotel operators
CENTURY Properties Group, Inc. is in talks with international hotel operators for its planned leisure developments, as global brands want to ride on the growth of the Philippine economy.
Century Properties had tapped Novotel, a four-star international mid-scale brand of the Accor Group, for its foray into leisure development.

Roxas Green Energy get solar power service contract
Roxas Green Energy Corp. (RGEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of RCI, recently entered into a renewable energy service contract with the Energy department to operate a 50-megawatt solar facility, the listed firm said in a statement yesterday.
The facility will be operational by the first quarter of 2016 -- ahead of the original target of the third-quarter of 2016. RCI had planned to invest P1.7 billion to develop the new solar facility.

Asean renews forex liquidity support program
The Philippines’ contribution commitment of $300 million allows the country to draw up to $600 million as the need arises.

PHL must import additional rice within the year
THE PHILIPPINES may accelerate a plan to import more rice to keep prices stable and cushion the impact of recent crop losses from Typhoon Lando and a prolonged dry spell due to El Niño, the chief state economic planner said on Friday.
The Philippines, one of the biggest buyers of rice in the world, has already bought around 2.3 million metric tons in the last few months.

Philippines could be next property ‘blockbuster’
Changes in Republic Act No. 9856, or the Real Estate Investment Trust Act of 2009, may unlock the value of the real estate sector, Philippine Stock Exchange Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran said
CBRE Philippines Chairman Rick M. Santos remains bullish on the BPO sector, saying its demand for space could hit 850,000 square meters (sq.m.) by 2018 from 600,000 sq.m. currently.

MRT buyout eyed by June next year
THE GOVERNMENT targets to buy out Metro Rail Transit Line 3’s (MRT-3) private partner before the Aquino administration ends its term on June 30 in order to spare its successor from “a lot of headaches,” the state Transport chief said yesterday.

Fresh pre-qualification round for dam PPP draws two prospective bidders 18 Oct 2015

1. Fresh pre-qualification round for dam PPP draws two prospective bidders
A UNIT of San Miguel Corp. is squaring off with contractor Datem, Inc. as they team up with Spanish partners to qualify as builders of an P18.7-billion dam that will supply more water to Metro Manila.
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the project’s implementing agency, received two sets of documents by the noon deadline on Friday: one from Datem and its consortium partner Abeinsa Infraestructuras Medio Ambiente Sociedad Anónima, and another from San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC) and partner Ayesa.

2. Creditors warn investors against bidding for Clark Mimosa estate
In a notice published in a major newspaper, the developer’s creditors said any lease agreement with the CDC would be null and void due to the government’s failure to take prior agreements with them into account.
The special purpose vehicle for secured creditors, however, said it would be forced to foreclose on MLE’s assets and pursue legal action “to protect (their) rights, including that against the colluding winning bidder.”
The creditors, who funded the MLE, held their claims in abeyance in exchange for CDC’s assurance of a percentage of casino proceeds and the protection of their rights in the privatization.

FMIC to create consumer index
FIRST Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) is tying up with the Financial Times for the creation of an index that may comprise consumer stocks, after delays hit its plan to launch an exchange traded fund (ETF) tracking the same issues.

DBP to bid out P80 M worth of properties
In an invitation to bid, the bank said two adjoining lots in Camarines Norte worth P16.99 million and four adjacent industrial lots in Davao worth P18 million would be available on Oct. 29.
A commercial or residential lot in Eastern Samar worth P11.72 million and 15 individually titled lots in Laguna with an aggregated sum of P40.55 million would also be up for grabs.

AXA is #1 insurance brand in the world
AXA, global leader in insurance, was recently recognized as the number one global insurance brand by Interbrand for the seventh consecutive year (2009-2015).
Some of AXA’s key achievements in 2015 include its expansion into Asia, Latin America, and Africa, acceleration of its digital transformation initiatives, investments in technology labs and start-ups, as well as its new partnerships in the digital and sharing economies.

Bill to fully automate Bureau of Customs passed
It will also harmonize the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines with the Revised Kyoto Convention, or the blueprint for modern customs procedures developed by the World Customs Organization.
Another salient feature of the bill is that it ensures transparency and public accountability in the BOC by preventing district officers and frontline employees to hold the same position for more than three years.

ALI exercises option to raise stake in Malaysia’s MCT
AYALA Land, Inc. (ALI) has raised its stake in MCT, Bhd. to nearly a third to become the single largest shareholder of the Malaysian development and construction firm.
The investment in MCT marks Ayala Land’s foray into the Malaysian real estate market following investments of a smaller scale in Myanmar and China.

Fitch Ratings raises outlook on Landbank, DBP
The long-term issuer default ratings (IDR) of Landbank and DBP were revised to “positive” from “stable” while the credit-rater affirmed the “BB+” score of the two banks, one notch short of the minimum investment grade, Fitch said in a statement.

MPIC buys Meralco’s stake in Indra PHL
METRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has spent P326.53 million to buy a stake in Indra Philippines, Inc., -- the joint venture between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Madrid-based information technology (IT) group Indra Sistemas SA -- saying it expects “strong returns” from just a “modest” investment.

Outsourcing company, town center developer file for IPO 5 Oct 2015

1. Outsourcing company, town center developer file for IPO
BUSINESS process outsourcing firm Pointwest Technologies Corp. and town center developer Philippine Primark Properties, Inc. are raising a combined P3.28 billion from their initial public offerings (IPO), according to regulatory filings, adding to the pipeline of maiden share sales slated for launch next month.
SB Capital Investment Corp. and Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners, Inc. were tapped as joint issue managers, lead underwriters and bookrunners. Evercore was appointed as financial advisor.

SM Investments capex may hit P100B in 2016
SM Investments Corp. may set aside as much as P100 billion to support its expansion program next year, as the holding firm of the country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. plants the seeds that will allow the conglomerate to take advantage of the Philippine economy’s robust growth.

Government guaranteed debts drop to P413 B
Total debt guaranteed by the national government or the so-called contingent liabilities fell by almost a tenth in the first eight months of the year, data from the Bureau of The Treasury showed.
Contingent liabilities are debts guaranteed by the government. This means if a state agency fails to pay for it debts on time, the National Government will take care of what is due. A particular segment of the budget is allotted for this purpose.

Philippine banks lead in retail financial services
Singapore-based publication The Asian Banker sees the Philippines leading the strong growth in the retail financial services market in Asia Pacific on the back of increasing consumption and improved access.
“Asia Pacific’s retail financial services market will be worth $824 billion by 2020. Increasing consumption and improved access to financial services in combination with mobile banking technologies, will be key catalysts in driving retail banking income between 2015 and 2020,” The Asian Banker said.
According to The Asian Banker, the most profitable banks in Asia include Bank of Mandiri in Indonesia, Union Bank of the Philippines, and Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand.

Alveo spending P6 B for new Ayala Ave landmark
Alveo Land Corp., the mid-income housing unit of property giant Ayala Land Inc., is spending P6 billion to transform the Jaka Tower along Ayala Ave. into a premier 48-floor office tower.
Sitting on a prime 2,400-square-meter lot, the Alveo Financial Tower is expected to rake in P10.7 billion in sales. The company has sold over 60 percent of the office units, translating to P5.8-billion in sales.

Proposed credit card industry rules move forward
The proposals likely to become part of the consolidated measure include Senate Bill (SB) No 1312, which promotes enhanced disclosure of making only minimum required payments in the payment of credit bills; SB No. 1714, which mandates issuers to give advance notice of any change in the annual credit card interest rates; SB No. 1704, which prohibits credit card debt-collection harassment; and SB No. 1768, which prohibits the imposition of extra charges on the use credit cards for purchases of consumer products.

MPIC considers listing hospital business after elections
Should it proceed with the initial public offering (IPO), the vehicle will be Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI),
Metro Pacific has investments in nine hospitals with a total capacity of 2,244 beds, the largest in the Philippines. The healthcare group of MPIC plans to acquire about a dozen hospitals until 2019 in its effort to expand its reach beyond the capital.

Globe, Metrobank sign over P7B loan deal
The Ayala-controlled telecommunications company signed a 10-year P5 billion and seven-year $45 million (P2.1 billion) term loan with Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. that will finance its capital expenditure.
“This new loan facility from Metrobank will help us address the demands of our customers in their continuing shift to a digital lifestyle,” Globe Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Alberto M. de Larrazabal

Telstra entry to put pressure on PLDT, Globe: Fitch
With the Telstra and San Miguel tie-up poised to challenge the duopoly of PLDT and Globe, Fitch expects the potential partnership to have “limited” impact on domestic competition in the next two years.
“Large cash burn is likely for the new entrant in the initial period, as it will face significant capital outlay to build its network in the absence of mandatory infrastructure sharing. However, we believe the impact on industry profitability may be greater over the longer term,” Fitch Ratings said.

Xurpas invests in Singapore tech solutions provider
XURPAS, Inc. is investing in the convertible promissory notes to be issued by a Singapore-based technology solutions provider, marking its eighth investment since making its debut in the stock market last year.
Under the terms of the agreement, Xurpas can be paid the principal amount with an interest of 3% per annum or convert the note into equity at a 40% discount on the purchase price of the shares and be entitled to one board seat, upon maturity of the note or in the next financing round.

Palace takes 2nd look at income tax cut 18 Sep 2015

1. Palace takes 2nd look at income tax cut
MALACAÑANG appears to have softened its stance on a legislative proposal to reduce income taxes that has won support from both business and labor sectors, with President Benigno S.C. Aquino III ordering Finance officials to take a second look at the measure.
Proposal: tax exemption for workers earning less than P180,000 yearly; 9% for those earning P180,000 to P500,000; 17% for those earning between P500,001 and P10 million; and 30% for those earning above P10 million.

Pru Life UK considering bancassurance venture
LIFE INSURER Pru Life UK is in the hunt for a possible bancassurance partner as part of its expansion plans in the country.

Credit Suisse lowers Philippine GDP forecast
In its Emerging Markets Quarterly report, Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan said the bank trimmed the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 6.1 percent instead of 6.4 percent this year, but maintained next year’s projection at 6.4 percent.

First Gen pursues $1-B Batangas LNG terminal
First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group is looking for a partner for its planned $1-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Batangas after completing the study on the project. First Gen will be offering up to 50 percent stake to partners.

APEC members adopt PH-led ‘Iloilo Initiative’
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have agreed to adopt the “APEC Iloilo Initiative,” a Philippine-led framework that will guide the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region to explore the full potential of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and digital economy.

Uncertainties to weigh on peso
THE PESO is expected to trade under pressure against the dollar this week and further test new lows along with its Asian peers amid persisting uncertainties in global markets.

BSP seen keeping rates steady in 2016
THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will likely put off any plans to raise rates until 2017, Credit Suisse said in a new report, citing the absence of any real threat to the stability of consumer prices and the country’s growth.

BIR shuts down 33 branches of LBC subsidiary due to unpaid taxes
A total of 33 branches being operated by a subsidiary of popular cargo and courier services provider LBC Express Inc. were padlocked by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) last Thursday due to unpaid taxes during the last three years amounting P145.7 million.

SEC greenlights DMCI Homes’ P1-B bond issue
The property unit of listed conglomerate DMCI Holdings, Inc. had been given the green light to proceed with its P1-billion fund-raising activity, which it will use to fuel its working capital.

Five groups cleared for airport auction 21 Sep 2015

1. Five groups cleared for airport auction
Five out of six prospective bidders were allowed to compete for P108.19 billion worth of public-private partnership (PPP) project contracts to develop, operate and maintain (O&M) five regional airports after one of them failed to meet documentary requirements.
Prequalification, Bids, and Awards Committee (PBAC) has rated the following as qualified,” namely: Filinvest-Jatco-Sojitz Consortium, GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium, Maya Consortium, Philippine Airports Consortium and SMHC-IIAC Airports Consortium.

Reissued 10-year T-bonds to fetch higher yields
The government plans to raise as much as P25 billion in tomorrow’s [today’s] auction of the reissued 10-year T-bonds with a remaining life of six years and 11 months.

Poe still top of mind, but Roxas jumps over Binay
Senator Grace Poe remains the favored choice among many Filipinos for both the presidency and vice-presidency in the upcoming May 2016 polls, though administration bet Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II overtook Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay to place second in a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) report.

PSE moves to delist Gotesco Land
THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) has started the proceedings to remove Gotesco Land, Inc. from the exchange, citing repeated violations of disclosure rules.

SM Prime to raise up to P20B from retail bonds
SM Prime secured board approval to issue fixed-rate retail bonds of up to P15 billion with an oversubscription of up to P5 billion, the integrated property developer told the stock exchange. The proposed debt sale will mature in 5.25 years and 10 years.

Macquarie-managed fund acquires SaCaSol
A fund managed by the Macquarie group has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol), whose farm was expanded last week to hit its maximum capacity of 45 megawatts.
The 70-hectare solar farm is located in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, which is becoming “the renewable energy center” of the Visayas region. It is also found within the 405-hectare San Carlos Economic Zone.

Cityland to issue P1.5B commercial papers
CITYLAND, INC., the parent firm of listed Cityland Development Corp. (CDC), plans to issue commercial papers to raise funds, mostly to pay off debt, according to a regulatory filing.

ODA growth stalls following European fiscal crises
Official development assistance (ODA) increased substantially between 2000 and 2014, according to the MDG (Millennium Development Goal) Gap Task Force Report 2015, though it added that ODA to least-developed countries (LDCs) dropped in the recent years.

MPIC-Ayala consortium takes over LRT 1 O&M 13 Sep 2015

1. MPIC-Ayala consortium takes over LRT 1 O&M
Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) assumed Saturday the operations and maintenance of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1, marking the start of its 32-year concession of the oldest elevated mass transit system in the country.

Civil registry PPP offered to investors
THE PHILIPPINE Statistics Authority on Friday rolled out a P1.59-billion public-private partnership (PPP) project that will upgrade the country’s civil registry services.

Sun Life Financial set to buy US insurer Assurant’s unit for $975M
Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial Inc. said it would buy New York-based insurer Assurant Inc.’s employee-benefits business for $975 million, creating the sixth largest group benefits business in the United States.

EDC unit secures P5-B loan
A WHOLLY-owned subsidiary of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has secured loans totalling P5 billion from three local banks, proceeds of which will be used to fund the listed parent’s geothermal prospects.

Ayala forays into solar with initial P1.3-B budget
AYALA Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate, has finally decided to foray into solar energy -- extending its renewable energy projects beyond wind farms -- with an initial budget of P1.3 billion, it told the stock exchange yesterday.

PHL mostly ‘untouched’ by main global risk factors due to remittances, BPO earnings, economist says
Pedro Videla, economist and professor at IESE (Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa) Business School at the University of Navarra, said that the Philippines is “pretty untouched by all these effects,” and identified as the source of its relative immunity “the Philippines (having) more sources of dollars from overseas.”

S&P lowers growth forecasts for PH, Asia
The rating firm sees the Philippine economy growing by 5.6 percent in 2015 and 2016. S&P originally saw gross domestic product (GDP) rising by 6 percent for both years.

COL: PH stock market not heading to bear territory
THE LOCAL stock market is unlikely to slip into “bear” territory despite external jitters arising from China’s turbulent asset market and uncertainties over the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike, leading online stock brokerage COL Financial said.
“This is just a major correction, not a bear market,” Tan said.

Timetable for railway PPP bared 7 Sep 2015

1. Timetable for railway PPP bared
PPP Center Deputy Executive Director Sherry Ann N. Austria, in a text message on Sunday, said the government hopes to publish invitations to bid for the P42.89-billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 4 and the P64.71-billion LRT Line 6 in “October-November.”

Peso may recover after ‘mixed’ US jobs report
The local unit closed at P46.73 against the greenback on Friday, unchanged from the previous session’s finish, amid quiet trading and as market players stayed on the sidelines ahead of the release of US non-farm payrolls data (NFP) later that day.

Crunch time for tax incentives bill as bicameral meeting set
THE HOUSE of Representatives and Senate are set to meet this week to agree on one version of a measure that puts in place a reporting scheme for tax incentives granted by government to businesses.

PDIC told to complete the sale of defunct bank’s assets
THE SUPREME Court has granted the bid of Far East Bank and Trust Co. (FEBTC) to gain control of nine branches of the defunct Pacific Banking Corp. (PBC).

EDC unit lone bidder for Leyte power contact
THE AUCTION for the remaining contracted capacity of the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant (ULGPP) failed after only one company participated in the process.

GSIS insurance business up 8%
State-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) saw an increase in its insurance business after the pension fund was mandated to insure all government assets.

Gov’t to lose billions over reversal of ruling on John Hay case
THE government will lose billions following the Court of Appeals’ decision that stopped the turn over of the 247-hectare parcel of land at the John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) in Baguio City and its developments to the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

PSEi slips for second day (Sept.2) but stays above 7,000 2 Sep 2015

1. PSEi slips for second day (Sept.2) but stays above 7,000
THE LOCAL stock barometer slipped for the second session in a row on Wednesday as weak factory data from US, China and Europe spurred concerns on the global economy.

Malaysian firm wants PH as ticket to Asean
Silverpack Sdn Bhd. is planning to set up a sales office, a warehouse, and eventually a manufacturing facility in the Philippines to cater to a wide range of food industries here, the Embassy of Malaysia Trade Office (Matrade) Manila said in a statement issued Tuesday.

AUB set to acquire remittance firm in Singapore
Asia united Bank Corp. (AUB) is looking to take over Pinoy Express PTE Ltd., a Singapore-registered money transfer firm, in a bid to expand its remittance business.

Tax cut legislation expected to hurdle House committee soon
A PROPOSAL to reduce income taxes will move forward at the House of Representatives next week, a senior lawmaker said, with expanded exemptions for more workers and a lowering of the top tax bracket to 30% under consideration.

Xurpass investing P900M to buy 51% stake in Globe’s mobile content developer
APART from plans to expand in Southeast Asia, mobile content provider Xurpas Inc. is solidifying its foothold in the Philippines through a partnership with Ayala-led telecommunications giant Globe Telecom Inc.

Ayala Land investing P70B city in Cavite
Property giant Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) is investing P70 billion for the 700-hectare, integrated and mixed-use development called Vermosa in Imus, Cavite over the next 12 to 15 years

DoubleDragon – SM joint venture to operate 25 CityMalls by 2016
CityMall Commercial Centers, Inc. -- 66% owned by DoubleDragon and 34% by SM Investments Corp. -- already secured 32 sites for its community malls that will be spread across the country.

PLDT on the lookout for partners to bring 5G technology to PHL
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is scouting for potential partners as it gears up to launch 5G technology in the Philippines by 2020, and floats the prospect of China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. being one of them.

Bpi to assume full ownership of BanKO 31 Aug 2015

1. Bpi to assume full ownership of BanKO
“BPI will increase its stake in BanKO by buying the shares of Globe and Ayala Corp. representing 40% and 20%, respectively. BPI currently owns 40% of BanKO,” it said in its regulatory filing.

San Miguel’s hand bared in telco play
SAN MIGUEL Corp. is in talks for a joint venture with Australia’s telecommunications giant Telstra Corporation Ltd., both companies admitted on Friday, as the diversified Philippine conglomerate girds for battle in an industry already dominated by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom, Inc.

WESM probing 1,611 of power trading violations
The Enforcement and Compliance Office (ECO) of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) has its hands full with investigating 1,611 cases of alleged market violations by power trading participants.

Moody’s cuts 2016 global growth forecasts
Credit rating firm Moody’s cut its 2016 global economic growth forecasts, trimming both China and United States while Russia and Brazil are seen staying in recession.

PH may accept weak currency to cope with China shock 27 Aug 2015

1. PH may accept weak currency to cope with China shock
In a Citi research note dated Aug. 26, the bank said China’s devaluation of the yuan was more aggressive than earlier thought and may spark “beggar-thy-neighbor” responses.
A “beggar-thy-neighbor” policy refers to an international trading policy that utilizes currency devaluations and protective barriers to alleviate economic difficulties at the expense of other countries. It usually comes in the form of boosting exports, while cutting reliance on imports.
“Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines will accommodate (even ‘encourage’) FX (foreign exchange) weakness as initial response,” Citi said.

PH launches domestic debt swap
Bondholders of certain eligible government securities can swap their bonds for new benchmark bonds due 2025 and 2040, for which the government had set a minimum issue of P50 billion each.

Bid for Nabas wind farm’s inclusion in feed-in-tariff scheme gains tractions
The P4.5-billion wind project is owned and operated by PetroWind Energy, Inc. (PWEI) -- a joint venture of Singapore-based CapAsia Asean Wind Holdings Cooperatief U.A. (40%); EEI Power Corp. (20%); and PetroGreen Energy Corp. (40%), a subsidiary of PetroEnergy.

Nervous gains in Asia, in volatile response to China rate cut
Asian shares made tentative gains Wednesday after a China interest rate cut designed to soothe fears about stalling growth in the world’s number-two economy, but more volatility was forecast in a crisis that has panicked global markets.

DoubleDragon to build 40-storey Jolibee Tower
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), DoubleDragon said it signed an agreement with JFC to build Jollibee Tower in a 3,002 square meters prime property at the corner of F. Ortigas Jr. Road and Garnet road.
The development is expected to generate P350 million in annual rental revenues to Double Dragon.

First Metro ETF drops plan to list on Tokyo Stock Exchange for now
The fund is awaiting a clear signal from Japanese investors that will trigger a listing.

Landbank-DBP merger may fall through
The planned merger between state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) may have to wait until the next administration, with a proposal still having long way to go before it secures Senate approval and due to lack of support from President Benigno S.C. Aquino III, a Congress official said.

Singapore to hold snap elections soon
Singapore’s parliament was dissolved on Tuesday, clearing the way for a snap election as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong seeks a new mandate from voters worried over immigration and the high cost of living in a slowing economy.

Enfinity unit adding 100 MW solar capacity 23 Aug 2015

1. Enfinity unit adding 100 MW solar capacity
MANILA, Philippines - The local unit of Belgium-based solar developer Enfinity N.V. is planning to put up additional 100 megawatts (MW) in three of its planned seven solar power plants in the country, but the expansion of these projects will not be pursued under the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

BCDA explores rail deal with Japan firm
STATE-RUN Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is in talks with Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to explore a partnership in the development of the P200-billion Clark Rail Transit System, which will likely run from Malolos, Bulacan to the Clark Green City.

Construction firm seeks to raise Php 4.7 billion from IPO
Construction firm DATEM, Inc. formalized a plan to undertake an initial public offering (IPO) this year that will yield as much as P4.66 billion, bulk of which will finance the company’s diversification to real estate and the development of bulk water projects, a regulatory filing showed.

Merger of Plantersbank, CBSI gets BSP approval
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has “okayed” the merger of China Bank Savings, Inc. -- the thrift unit of listed lender China Banking Corp. (China Bank) -- and Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank), seen to be completed within a year.

Interest mounts in rail PPP deal
At least 27 companies have shown interest in the Aquino administration’s biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project to date -- the P170.7-billion South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP).

GSIS looks to increase placements in equities
State-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) wants to increase the amount of funds it can place in stocks as it looks to expand its overseas investments to cushion the impact of volatile domestic markets.

Gov’t agency may outsource private auditors
The commission on Audit (CoA) is eyeing to outsource auditors to conduct a part of the annual audit of government entities, the agency’s top official yesterday said.

DMCI pre-qualifies for Php 50 billion prison facility PPP bid 20 Aug 2015

1. DMCI pre-qualifies for Php 50 billion prison facility PPP bid
This makes DMCI the third bidder to qualify for the prison infrastructure project. San Miguel Corp. and a consortium led by Megawide Corp. earlier pre-qualified for the project.

SMC issues $300m perpetual bonds at 6.75% per annum
For this new issuance, if the bonds are not redeemed by 5.5 years, SMC Global Power will have to pay bond holders 250 basis point more than the original coupon rate.

Aboitiz seals deal for solar power foray
SUBSIDIARIES of Aboitiz Power Corp. (AboitizPower) and US-based SunEdison, Inc. are investing P3.5 billion to develop a 59-megawatt (MW) solar farm, which will serve as the maiden project of their joint venture.
The companies awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project to Nari Group Corp., a Chinese company that already completed over 30 projects in the Philippines.

5 groups eligible for Php 19 billion Davao port deal
The DOTC evaluated and qualified the San Miguel Holdings Corp.-APM Terminals Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Consortium; Enrique Razon Jr.’s International Container Terminal Services Inc.; Asian Terminals Inc.-DP World FZE Consortium; Portek International Pte. Ltd.-National Marine Corp. Consortium, and Bollore Africa Logistics.

Ayala Land unveils fresh Php 12.5 billion spending boost for Nuvali
The budget adds to the P44 billion that the listed builder already spent to develop Nuvali -- a large-scale eco-city spanning Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba in Laguna -- since the project’s launch in 2007

AUB reports flat net income in H1
This was primarily due to AUB’s investment in opening 29 more branches after June 2014 and higher loan provisioning, which nudged up the bank’s total operating expenses by 27.6% to P2.1 billion,” AUB said

Mining tax rate (in the Philippines) could top ASEAN
THE PROPOSED new mining revenue-sharing scheme awaiting approval at the House of Representatives could raise the government’s take from the industry to as much as 71% -- potentially the steepest among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Six groups eye regional airport development
SIX groups yesterday submitted prequalification documents to bid for P108.19-billion contracts to develop, operate and maintain (O&M) five regional airports under the public-private partnership (PPP) program.
GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium is a partnership between listed builder Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based airport operator GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

Banks fear Asia’s hunt for hidden wealth
Singapore-based wealth managers -- already under pressure from a global move towards tax information sharing -- face a more immediate threat as Asian countries including Indonesia and India look to chase undeclared money in the low-tax city state.

Filinvest maxes out, raises Php 8 billion from bond sale 17 Aug 2015

1. Filinvest maxes out, raises Php 8 billion from bond sale
FILINVEST Land, Inc. (FLI) has raised the full P8 billion from the sale of fixed-rate bonds, beefing up its war chest for spending on new residential projects as well as bigger retail and office space, a company official said over the weekend.

Fresh 5-year bonds to fetch higher rates
FRESH five-year Treasury bonds (T-bond) on offer tomorrow could fetch higher rates compared to prevailing secondary market yields as investors seek fresh liquidity for the upcoming debt swap of the national government.

PNB profit almost doubles in Q2
Philippine National Bank (PNB) said its net income rose 12 percent to P3.6 billion for the first half of 2015 on the back of a much stronger second quarter performance.

COL’s six-month profit up 24% to Php189.3 million
LEADING online stock brokerage COL Financial Group Inc. grew its net profit in the first six semester by 23.7 percent year-on-year to P189.3 million on higher earnings from brokerage operations in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

PSEi slips on first day of “ghost” month
The Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 31.36 points or 0.42 percent to close at 7,408.44. The property counter dragged the main index, declining by 1.74 percent.

Impact of yuan slide minimal
“The devaluation [of the Chinese yuan], for one, is not that big since it’s just about 2 percent, while our peso devalued also about that much already. There could be some marginal impact on us to the extent their currency will be cheaper than ours,” Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said in an interview last Friday.

Gov’t sets minimum broadband speed
THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has set the minimum broadband speed in the country and required Internet service providers (ISP) to disclose average data rates per location.

BSP Regulates money for deposits and funds for stock trading 12 Aug 2015

1. BSP Regulates money for deposits and funds for stock trading
The Monetary Board approved the new guidelines for a "broker customer account" to cover the funds banks receive under a securities brokering arrangement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced on Tuesday.

Ayala poised to bag another PPP deal
PROPERTY giant Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) yesterday outbid Filinvest Land, Inc. in a state auction for a P4-billion build-transfer-operate contract for an integrated transport hub near Food Terminal, Inc. (FTI) grounds in Taguig City, marking what could be the Ayala group’s fourth public-private partnership (PPP) deal.

June exports keep 2015 goal far from reach, GDP growth at risk
OUTBOUND shipments of goods dipped for a third straight month in June, the government reported yesterday, keeping performance in the first half far from a 5% official full-year growth target and putting gross domestic product (GDP) expansion last quarter at risk.

Chemical firm debuts strongly
The chemical distributor, which raised P1.55 billion from an initial public offering, closed at P4.12 apiece, also its opening price. That, in turn, was a 49.82% increase from its listing price of P2.75 per share.

PSEi falls below 7,500
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 75.02 points, or 0.99 percent, to close at 7,495.43. Across the region, stock markets were mostly lower as investors weighed the impact of the yuan devaluation.

Php 1 billion Solar energy Farm to Rise in Clark
Singapore-based SSR Group has committed to invest P1 billion in a solar energy project in the Philippines within the next two years.

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63 2 887 6320 (Manila)
+1 212 427 9449 (New York)
12th Floor, Tower One & Exchange Plaza
6767 Ayala Avenue, Makati City 1226 Philippines