(STAR) By Ted P. Torres - The UAE Exchange (UAEEX), one of the largest money transfer companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is opening a Philippine office to directly coordinate the remittance transactions of its 11 correspondent commercial banks in the Philippines.

The UNAEEX office will be located at the Ayala Center along Ayala Ave. in Makati.

UAEEX chief operating officer and general manager Y. Sudhir Kumas Shetty said they handle some $230 million in remittances to the Philippines by migrant Filipinos in UAE.

“That is 38 percent of our $500-million remittances from all over our operations in the Middle East,” the UAEEX COO said.

The average annual remittance transaction of UAEEX is reportedly in the $9-billion level for roughly 8.5 million transactions.

Aside from domestic commercial banks, the money transfer giant is also looking to establish links with non-banking financial institutions. It is reportedly into talks with one of the leading national pawnshop networks and remains open to other networks.

“We are open to all opportunities to expand our network,” said Dr. B. R. Shelly, managing director and chief executive officer of the NMC Group. NMC Group is considered among the largest conglomerates in the Middle East. It is engaged in a variety of operations that include money transfer, healthcare, pharmaceutical, hospitals, and hotel and restaurants.

State-run firms remit P8.86B in dividends to NG in 10 months By Iris C. Gonzales Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dividends remitted by state-run firms went up to P8.86 billion in the first 10 months of the year, latest data from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed.

The latest figure is already more than half of the government’s target of P4 billion for 2007.

The January to October figure is 32 percent higher than the P6.69 billion remitted in the same period last year.

Under Republic Act 7656 or the Dividends Law of 1994, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs) are required to remit half or 50 percent of the income earned in each fiscal year to the National Government. The remittance should be in the form of cash or in unencumbered or real estate properties with clean titles.

In October alone, state-owned corporations remitted a total of P123.94 million or 26.8 percent higher than the P97 million remitted in the same period last year.

Major contributors included the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with P2.5 billion in dividends as of end-October, Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) with P1.18 billion, the Philippine Ports Authority with P1.36 billion and state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines with P1 billion.

Last year, dividends from GOCCs and GFIs reached a total P16.25 billion or almost three times the P5.66 billion recorded in 2005.

The DOF has been urging state-owned firms to increase their dividend remittances to help the government meet its yearend budget deficit target of P63 billion.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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