Philippines Morning News Roundup February 20

Philippines Morning News Roundup February 20
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Philippines morning news

PHL could lose position as top source of nickel; Indonesia resumes exports
THE PHILIPPINES could lose its standing as the world’s top nickel supplier with Indonesia lifting its export ban on the metal, and after the Environment department ordered closures and canceled concessions which affected 28 mines, accounting for half of the country’s total nickel output.
— BusinessWorld

Phl seen as upper middle-income economy by 2022
The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) is pushing for key reforms which it sees essential in transforming the Philippines into an upper middle-income economy by 2022.
— Philippine Star

PH economic freedom ranking jumps from 70th to 58th
Solid macro fundamentals sustained despite a change in administration last year helped the Philippines jump 12 spots to 58th in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom (IEF) of Washington-based conservative political think-tank The Heritage Foundation.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines seeks tougher ASEAN vs illegal drugs: source
The Philippines will push for a stronger region-wide response against illegal drugs, a top priority of President Rodrigo Duterte whose drug war is blamed for the killing of thousands of drug suspects in the country.

Philippines under the microscope at ASEAN’s helm
SOUTHEAST ASIAN foreign ministers descend on the resort island of Boracay this week to kick-start a meeting deemed most crucial in the run-up to the April ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit that the Philippines chairs this year.
— BusinessWorld

Energy department, PEZA sign deal to make power cheaper for locators
THE Department of Energy (DoE) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) have agreed to hasten the development of regional economic zones by coming up with measures that will ease doing business in the country, including cheaper power rates.
— BusinessWorld

BSP scraps rules on liquid assets
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has lifted its liquidity-related rules previously imposed on local banks since the new Basel 3 liquidity standards will already cover these requirements.
— Manila Bulletin

Alibaba owner invests in Globe unit
Ant Financial Services Group, the financial technology company controlled by Alibaba’s Jack Ma,  is making a strategic investment to get a 45-percent stake in Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), a unit of Globe Telecom Inc., to help accelerate financial inclusion in the Philippines.
— Philippine Star

Tobacco sin tax backfires
In 2012,   the 15th   Congress passed the Sin Tax Reform Law to enhance government’s  revenue raising measures.  Among its numerous provisions was to  gradually increase excise taxes for packed cigarettes from a two-tiered  system of  P12 per pack  for low-cost  brands and  P25  for premium brands in 2013  to a unified rate of P30 per pack, regardless of type, by 2017.
— Manila Bulletin

Philippine army to form task force for war on drugs, military chief says
The Philippine army will create a battalion-sized task force to help the government’s anti-narcotics agency run after high-level targets in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, the country’s military chief says.

Sun Life stays as country’s top insurer
SUN LIFE of Canada (Philippines), Inc. (Sun Life) kept its distinction as the country’s top life insurer in premium terms as its total premium income last year continued to be the highest in the industry, but with most firms’ figures declining from the previous year amid market volatility towards the end of 2016.
— BusinessWorld

PAL sees entry of strategic investor within 2017
PAL HOLDINGS, Inc. intends to take in a strategic investor before selling shares to the public, as tycoon Lucio C. Tan, Sr. expects to seal the consolidation of his airline ventures within the quarter.
— BusinessWorld


Feature photo: Maynard Rabanal



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