PALACE VOWS TO FURTHER IMPROVE INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN PH

Malacañang on Saturday said it will continue to work to improve the country’s business environment and attract more foreign investments as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported increased Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2013.Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the country’s export industry has also increased.“It’s on a continued upward trajectory, and we’d want to see those numbers continue, or at least, to grow even bigger. In all the score cards that we’ve seen, the view of the international community as far as our competitiveness is that it is going up,” Valte said on radio. Valte, however said, the government also wants to pay special attention on areas that need further improvement.“The President has always emphasized the need for a level-playing field when it comes to foreign or local investments. Those who are already here, who are seeking to expand and those who are outside but would want to place their investments here would see that they will get a pretty level playing field,” she said. The BSP on Friday said it registered net FDI of $3.361 billion for the first 10 months of 2013, up 35.3 percent compared to the same period in 2012 which is $2.485 billion. Foreign investors continue to have confidence in the sustainability of the Philippine’s business environment, the BSP said in a statement.

ALSO: Remittances to see a boost related to Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda)

Cash remittances could have amounted to $2 billion in November last year, UK-based Barclays said, as Filipinos abroad sent more money to their families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda. “Remittances to see a boost related to Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), and are likely to go against the typical seasonal trend for a month-on-month decline in November,” the bank said in a research note. Barclays said it expects remittances to have risen 7.5 percent in November from the same month in 2012. This translates to about $2.062 billion as money sent home by Filipinos abroad amounted to $1.918 billion in November 2012,according to central bank data. Yolanda ravaged provinces in the Visayas early November and killed over 6,000 individuals. The world’s strongest typhoon ever recorded also destroyed more than P36 billion worth of infrastructure and crops. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will be releasing official November remittances data on Jan. 15.

ALSO: BSP expected to raise key interest rate in 2014

The period of historic low yields and borrowings costs may be at an end as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expected to finally raise its key policy rate this year.First Metro Investments Corp. (FMIC) and University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), which run a joint research initiative, project that the BSP will hike its overnight borrowing rate in the second half of 2014. In a briefing Monday, FMIC president Roberto Juanchito Dispo said the central bank would raise its overnight borrowing rate either by 25 or 50 basis points in the second semester as a response to accelerating inflation. Because of the increase in the BSP’s overnight borrowing rate, Philippine banks may raise their own lending rates, potentially tempering growth in loans. The slowdown in the expansion of credit may ease growth in demand for goods and services and, in turn, slow down the rate of rise in consumer prices.During the same briefing, UA&P economist Victor Abola said inflation could accelerate to an average of 4 percent this year.Official inflation figure for 2013 will be released by the National Statistics Office Tuesday. But based on estimates by the central bank, inflation likely averaged at 2.9 percent last year. Abola said inflation would accelerate this year due to a host of factors, including the peso’s depreciation, the improvement of the global economy, sustained growth of household consumption, and post-calamity reconstruction spending.

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MANILA,
JANUARY 13, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Nestor Corrales - Malacañang on Saturday said it will continue to work to improve the country’s business environment and attract more foreign investments as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported increased Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2013. Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte (photo) said the country’s export industry has also increased.

“It’s on a continued upward trajectory, and we’d want to see those numbers continue, or at least, to grow even bigger. In all the score cards that we’ve seen, the view of the international community as far as our competitiveness is that it is going up,” Valte said on radio.

Valte, however said, the government also wants to pay special attention on areas that need further improvement.

“The President has always emphasized the need for a level-playing field when it comes to foreign or local investments. Those who are already here, who are seeking to expand and those who are outside but would want to place their investments here would see that they will get a pretty level playing field,” she said.

The BSP on Friday said it registered net FDI of $3.361 billion for the first 10 months of 2013, up 35.3 percent compared to the same period in 2012 which is $2.485 billion.

Foreign investors continue to have confidence in the sustainability of the Philippine’s business environment, the BSP said in a statement.

The BSP added that the notable rise in foreign investments reflects favorable investor sentiment noting that macroeconomic stability is believed to be firmly rooted in the country’s basic fundamentals.

FROM PHILSTAR

ALSO: Remittances to see a boost related to Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda)

MANILA, Philippines - Cash remittances could have amounted to $2 billion in November last year, UK-based Barclays said, as Filipinos abroad sent more money to their families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

“Remittances to see a boost related to Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), and are likely to go against the typical seasonal trend for a month-on-month decline in November,” the bank said in a research note.

Barclays said it expects remittances to have risen 7.5 percent in November from the same month in 2012.

This translates to about $2.062 billion as money sent home by Filipinos abroad amounted to $1.918 billion in November 2012,according to central bank data.

Yolanda ravaged provinces in the Visayas early November and killed over 6,000 individuals. The world’s strongest typhoon ever recorded also destroyed more than P36 billion worth of infrastructure and crops.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will be releasing official November remittances data on Jan. 15.

The country saw a large inflow of cash remittances in October last year on the back of continuous demand for Filipinos abroad.

Filipinos abroad sent $2.062 billion in October, a fresh peak for monthly remittances. The previous record high was seen in December 2012 at $1.975 billion.

In the 10 months to October last year, remittances climbed six percent to $18.542 billion from the $17.499 billion recorded in the same period in 2012.

The BSP said earlier the country may see a surge in cash remittances in November and December as families in calamity-stricken areas sent more money for rebuilding their homes and businesses.

Moreover, Filipinos abroad tend to send more money during the Christmas season as previous BSP data showed.

The central bank expects remittances to have increased by five percent to $22.5 billion in 2013 from the $21.391 billion seen in 2012.

FROM THE INQUIRER

ALSO: BSP expected to raise key interest rate in 2014Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:48 pm | Monday, January 6th, 2014

The period of historic low yields and borrowings costs may be at an end as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expected to finally raise its key policy rate this year.

First Metro Investments Corp. (FMIC) and University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), which run a joint research initiative, project that the BSP will hike its overnight borrowing rate in the second half of 2014.

In a briefing Monday, FMIC president Roberto Juanchito Dispo said the central bank would raise its overnight borrowing rate either by 25 or 50 basis points in the second semester as a response to accelerating inflation.

Because of the increase in the BSP’s overnight borrowing rate, Philippine banks may raise their own lending rates, potentially tempering growth in loans.

The slowdown in the expansion of credit may ease growth in demand for goods and services and, in turn, slow down the rate of rise in consumer prices.

During the same briefing, UA&P economist Victor Abola said inflation could accelerate to an average of 4 percent this year.

Official inflation figure for 2013 will be released by the National Statistics Office Tuesday. But based on estimates by the central bank, inflation likely averaged at 2.9 percent last year.

Abola said inflation would accelerate this year due to a host of factors, including the peso’s depreciation, the improvement of the global economy, sustained growth of household consumption, and post-calamity reconstruction spending.

But even if inflation were to average 4 percent, it would still be within the government’s official target range of 3 to 5 percent.

“Domestic demand is seen to remain intact and will be boosted by a likely depreciation of the peso,” Abola said.

Inflation throughout 2013 hovered mostly below 3 percent—which is at the low end of the government’s official target—on account of favorable supply aided by higher manufacturing output.

Anemic global demand, caused by lingering economic problems in industrialized countries, also caused inflation to stay modest last year.

But this year, adjustments in factors affecting domestic prices are expected to speed up inflation.

For instance, if the peso were to depreciate further, the cost of imports and overall domestic prices would rise.

The peso hovered at around 42.45:$1 in 2013. This year, it is expected to average between 43 and 46 against the US dollar, based on estimates by FMIC and UA&P.

Another factor that is seen to boost inflation is spending on post-calamity reconstruction activities.

The government’s reconstruction plan for areas affected by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” is valued at P360.8 billion, of which at least P100 billion will be spent this year.

Improving global economic conditions, led by the recovery of advanced economies, may also boost demand for goods and services.

The US economy, for instance, is projected to grow by 2.6 percent this year from an estimated 1.6 percent in 2013.

The euro zone may also expand by 1 percent this year, after it suffered a contraction estimated at 0.4 percent in 2013. Michelle V. Remo


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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