BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS PAST WEEK...
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STOCK INDEX BEGINS Q2 AT NEW RECORD HIGH


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 - Share prices continued to firm up yesterday despite the downtrend in markets abroad as the benchmark index zoomed to its 24th record close of the year yesterday. “Our stock market managed to close higher despite the decline in major Asian indices. This resilience has been evident as local economic and corporate developments continue to positively influence investor sentiment,” PSE president and CEO Hans B. Sicat said. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) moved even closer to finishing at the 8,000 level after it climbed 0.66 percent or 52.60 points at 7,993.09. The PSEi has now extended its winning streak to six consecutive sessions, the last five of which have been at record levels. READ MORE...

ALSO: National gov’t debt hit P5.76T as of Feb.

The national government’s debt inched up to P5.757 trillion at the end of February, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr). On its website, the BTr said the figure as of end-February this year increased by 0.1 percent from end-January’s P5.752 trillion, and was 3-percent higher than the P5.592 trillion recorded at end-February last year. Domestic liabilities at the end of the first two months went down by a mere 0.01 percent from end-January to P3.828 trillion on the back of “net redemption of government securities and downward revaluation of multi-currency denominated notes brought about by peso appreciation,” the BTr explained. READ MORE....

ALSO: 11 of the Worst Airports in the World

Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the experience you have at the airport can set a terrible tone for your trip, or end it on the wrong note. What should be just a quick stop in your worldly wandering can turn into a nightmare when bad customer service, disorganization and un-cleanliness are prevalent. Unlike in the past, travelling between countries means that you are going to be spending quite some time at the airport as credentials are being confirmed and luggage is being checked. Travelers look to make this unpleasant circumstance of travelling as pleasant as possible by spending time in a comfortable, clean and friendly environment. These are the criteria on which most travelers are rating their experiences inside of an international airport. If you want to make sure that your next trip is a pleasant one from start to finish, then you should go out of your way to avoid the airports in these countries: READ MORE...

ALSO: Top 10 Best Airports in the World

For travelers weary of long lines at security checkpoints and overpriced fast food, the idea that any airport could be viewed as “best” may seem laughable. However, for travelers lucky enough to have flights that originate or end at any of the airports listed below, the word “best” is totally appropriate. These outstanding airports received the most votes from more than twelve million travelers who participated in a survey administered by Skytrax. Awards for the 2013 World’s Best Airport and nine runners-up were announced at passenger terminal EXPO in Geneva, Switzerland. The winning airports were located largely in Europe and Asia, with only one representative from North America and none from Australia, South America or Africa. The United States was also notably absent from the list of winners. CONTINUE READING....


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Index begins Q2 at new record high


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MANILA, APRIL 6, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 2, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Share prices continued to firm up yesterday despite the downtrend in markets abroad as the benchmark index zoomed to its 24th record close of the year yesterday.

“Our stock market managed to close higher despite the decline in major Asian indices. This resilience has been evident as local economic and corporate developments continue to positively influence investor sentiment,” PSE president and CEO Hans B. Sicat said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) moved even closer to finishing at the 8,000 level after it climbed 0.66 percent or 52.60 points at 7,993.09.

The PSEi has now extended its winning streak to six consecutive sessions, the last five of which have been at record levels.

READ MORE....
“Despite the pending long holiday break, investors continued to come back to the market,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc.

Trading at the PSE is suspended today and tomorrow and will resume on Monday.

“There was really not that much to inspire the market except for the positive outlook for the country’s economy and corporate earnings,” Del Castillo said

Abroad, Wall Street declined overnight as crude oil prices continued to plummet.

Asian stocks were also generally lower following leads from US stocks.

The decline in oil prices, however, moved local share prices in the other direction.

“Gauges touched higher territory with catalysts coming from the continued slide in world crude prices,” said Grace Cerdenia, research head at F Yap Securities.


INQUIRER

National gov’t debt hit P5.76T as of Feb. Ben O. de Vera @BenArnolddeVera Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:49 AM | Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—The national government’s debt inched up to P5.757 trillion at the end of February, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

On its website, the BTr said the figure as of end-February this year increased by 0.1 percent from end-January’s P5.752 trillion, and was 3-percent higher than the P5.592 trillion recorded at end-February last year.

Domestic liabilities at the end of the first two months went down by a mere 0.01 percent from end-January to P3.828 trillion on the back of “net redemption of government securities and downward revaluation of multi-currency denominated notes brought about by peso appreciation,” the BTr explained.

READ MORE...
On a year-on-year basis, debt sourced mainly from the auction of Treasury bills and bonds to local investors rose by 5 percent.

As for external obligations, these went up by 0.3 percent from January to P1.929 trillion because of net availments, which the BTr said were “partially tempered by favorable exchange rate movements that reduced the peso equivalent of US dollar- and third currency-denominated debt.”

Foreign debt, meanwhile, declined by 0.9 percent year-on-year.

At end-February, domestic debt comprised the larger 66 percent of the total debt stock, which the BTr noted was “in line with risk management objectives.”

As for the total national government guaranteed debt, it amounted to a total of P413.6 billion as of end-February, down 0.9 percent from the end-January level as well as 12.8-percent lower year-on-year.


INQUIRER

11 of the Worst Airports in the World Tourism February 24, 2015 PopEditor

Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the experience you have at the airport can set a terrible tone for your trip, or end it on the wrong note. What should be just a quick stop in your worldly wandering can turn into a nightmare when bad customer service, disorganization and un-cleanliness are prevalent.

Unlike in the past, travelling between countries means that you are going to be spending quite some time at the airport as credentials are being confirmed and luggage is being checked. Travelers look to make this unpleasant circumstance of travelling as pleasant as possible by spending time in a comfortable, clean and friendly environment. These are the criteria on which most travelers are rating their experiences inside of an international airport.

If you want to make sure that your next trip is a pleasant one from start to finish, then you should go out of your way to avoid the airports in these countries:

READ MORE...

Manila – Ninoy Aquino International Airport

When it comes to ranking airports around the globe, Manila is at the bottom of the list year after year. This could possibly be related to its coming and going of over 32 million travelers every year, when it only was only designed to handle 6. Add in an air conditioning system that only works erratically, and your trip is taking off on the wrong foot. The biggest complaint given by travelers is the long wait times, which were only heightened during its recent renovation.


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The remodel hopefully took care of the rundown look and feel of the outdated airport.

With the “new” airport now up and flying, Manila’s infamous airport may slowly make its way off of the list.

France – Charles De Gaulle Airport

One would think that a Paris airport would be like a little cosmopolitan city within the city, yet flyers consistently complain about rude and brash staff and overall chaos inside. Sounds like the City of Lights needs to send a memo to its airport staff on how to seduce their visitors.

The design of Charles De Gaulle leaves much to be desired as well, with connecting terminals set almost 2 miles apart.


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And with an obvious lack of enough seating, you want even get a rest after that sprint through the airport.

United States – Los Angeles International – LaGuardia Airport (a tie)

One far to the West, and the other to the East, both LaGuardia and LAX are two of the busiest airports in the world yet get consistent complaints. For a major international hub, LAX is poorly lacking in restaurants, shopping and even just seats. Considering the Hollywood heavy weights that grace the halls daily, you’d think they could afford a few couches.

Being reported as too small, too crowded and just outright dirty, Governor Cuomo hangs his head in shame at the state of LaGuardia airport. Vice President Biden finds it similar to being in a third world country.


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This is sad news for the tens of millions of foreign visitors riding its escalators each year.

Italy – Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport

Rude staff, an unclean environment, and a lack of international language skills makes this Italian airport a frequent stop on the worst of the worst lists. You know it’s really bad when a reviewer says that destroying it is the only solution to fixing its myriad of problems.

Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport caters to many of the budget airlines servicing Europe, making it a popular layover and flight change airport.


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If at all possible, choose another airport for your switch in airlines.


Switzerland – Zurich International

Surprisingly, the biggest complaint given about this capital city airport is with the staff and a jarringly bad attitude. When a lack of politeness is over shadowing an array of unique shopping venues and restaurants, it may be time to start a customer relations class.

Travelers to Switzerland are about to embark on one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Who wants to begin that vacation with a run in with a rude immigration officer?

Chad – N’Djamena International Airport
Chad, officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa

It can’t be a good sign when the lights continually flicker inside of an airport. Yet that is one of the nicer comments about this Chad based airport. With mud tracks through the lounges and garbage lying around, it is more like being in an inner city ghetto than an international traveler’s hub.

If you are stuck spending more than an hour or two, get out and go anywhere else.

You don’t want to have to eat, sleep, sit or anything else in this airport.

Russia – Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

Poorly designed, this Moscow airport is seemingly two with the terminal miles away from the gates. Make sure your running shoes are in your carry-on if you are there to transfer flights as there is little mercy for late arriving travelers when the plane is ready to take off.

Top that off with broken signs and rude staff, and you could wind up lost in the airport for hours. Maybe you should pack a compass along with those running shoes.

Or open up that bottle of Vodka you bought at duty free and worry about getting home tomorrow.

India – Calcutta Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport

Uncomfortable, crowded and noisy seems to be the running theme with Calcutta’s international airport. Plus, serious armed guards at each entrance don’t exactly give off a warm and fuzzy feeling. Be ready to hand over your passport and check-in details before even making it through the front doors.

If you have to spend a few hours in this airport, try and sneak over to the domestic terminal.

According to reviewers it looks like Calcutta is rough on its international travelers, but cozy if you are planning on sticking around.

Pakistan – Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International

Dirty and crowded, this Pakistan international wait station has been likened to a prison. Not exactly the way one wishes to begin a holiday in any part of the world. Have your papers all in order if you have any hope of an early parole.

Hopefully the burly security and disorganization won’t keep you from the beauty of Pakistan for long. A brand new international airport is in the works and slated to open mid 2016.

They should start giving classes now on how to make navigating an airport smooth sailing for travelers.

Saudi Arabia – Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International

If you want your vacation to start with an disorganized and undereducated immigration check, then fly into Jeddah’s King Abulaziz International Airport. Here you may get to wait up to four hours just to have your passport stamped. It’s hard to imagine what would happen if they decided to check through your luggage.

Ready to leave? Be prepared for rude and unresponsive service during check-in. According to reviewers, it is not unusual to be shooed away if you have a question or concern.

Makes you wonder if it’s a lack of foreign translating skills or if they really have an aversion to helping the wayward traveler.

Nepal – Kathmandu Tribhuvan International

Spending time in Nepal’s international airport is like stepping back in time. The screens to see flight information are sketchy, and the X-ray machines from another century. Reviewers liken it to walking around an abandoned factory.

They are very modern in their bribery techniques, and not above taking a little Rupee on the side for the privilege of passing through immigration and customs without international incident. Have a bit of extra cash on hand to handle greedy guards. If you find yourself with a long wait in this airport, you’re better off spending the time in a local hotel.

Since 2001, international travelers have learned to expect longer wait times as security measures in airports around the world have increased. Yet there are some airports that are still ridiculously inept at moving visitors through. When you combine that with overcrowding, limited seating and an environment that makes a pig sty look clean, some major international metropolises are an embarrassment to their flag.

People who travel often have a very good idea of what is acceptable in an airport and what is outright outlandish. When you are making your travel plans, always look for alternative stops to the ones that are listed above. If not, you are setting yourself up to a terrible start in a foreign country. When you are unsure about the conditions of an airport you may be spending some time in, check the reviews. The seasoned traveler is never afraid to share their horrific experiences.


TRAVELAMERIKANI.COM

Top 10 Best Airports in the World

For travelers weary of long lines at security checkpoints and overpriced fast food, the idea that any airport could be viewed as “best” may seem laughable. However, for travelers lucky enough to have flights that originate or end at any of the airports listed below, the word “best” is totally appropriate. These outstanding airports received the most votes from more than twelve million travelers who participated in a survey administered by Skytrax. Awards for the 2013 World’s Best Airport and nine runners-up were announced at passenger terminal EXPO in Geneva, Switzerland. The winning airports were located largely in Europe and Asia, with only one representative from North America and none from Australia, South America or Africa. The United States was also notably absent from the list of winners.

1. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore


Singapore Changi Airport claimed top prize for the fourth time since the Skytrax awards were initiated, having last won the title in 2010. In addition to winning the top overall award, Singapore Changi Airport, which served more than fifty million passengers in 2012, was named Best Airport in Asia and Best Airport for Leisure Amenities

2. Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea

Last year’s winner Incheon International Airport slipped to the second place. Still, the main airport serving the South Korean capital is no slouch. In addition to its overall second place finish Incheon received the Best Airport Staff Service – Asia and Best International Transfer Airport awards for 2013.

3. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands

For the first time since the Skytrax awards were issued, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands broke into the top three finishers, largely due to its highly-regarded and efficient self-service transfer process. Schiphol also earned top honors for Best Airport in Europe and Best Airport in Western Europe.

4. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, China

A third-place finisher for 2012, Hong Kong International Airport slipped to fourth place in the overall voting for the 2013 World’s Best Airport. Nonetheless, Hong Kong International Airport remained a favorite among the voters. In addition to its overall fourth place finish, Hong Kong International airport ranked in the top five among all airports in six different categories.

5. Beijing Capital International Airport, China

Beijing Capital International Airport only began operations in 2008 and has added passenger traffic every year. Nonetheless, the airport maintained its fifth place overall position from 2012 to 2013, and was also named the best airport in China.

6. Munich Airport, Germany

For travelers who hate the dried out microwave fare many airports offer, Munich Airport in Germany features food offerings that are a treat to the palate. In addition to scoring sixth in overall voting for 2013, Munich Airport also earned the award for Best Airport in Central Europe and Best Airport Dining Experience.

7. Zurich Airport, Switzerland

If you have ever experienced lost luggage, you will appreciate the fact that Zurich Airport in Switzerland is a perennial winner in the category of Best Airport Baggage Delivery, in addition to scoring seventh place in overall voting in 2013. Zurich Airport also earned the 2013 award for Best Airport Staff Service – Europe.

8. Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia, Canada

Finishing in eighth place overall in the 2013 voting, Vancouver International Airport is the only North American representative on the list of World’s Best Airports. Moving up from its overall ninth place finish in 2012, Vancouver International Airport retained the award for Best Airport in North America.

9. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Japan

A new entry in the top ten list of World’s Best Airports, Tokyo International Airport moved up five places from its 2012 position. Haneda took first place in the category of Best Domestic Airport, a new category for 2012, and also snagged the award for Best Airport Terminal Cleanliness.

10. London Heathrow Airport, England (Great Britain)

Rounding the top ten is London Heathrow Airport, earning its place on the list largely due to its highly-regarded Terminal 5, which opened in 2008. T5, as it is commonly known, also earned the award for Best Airport Terminal for the third year in a row. The entire airport has undergone an overhaul, with its efforts rewarded by Heathrow finally earning 4-Star Airport status in 2012.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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