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BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

INTERVIEW: APPLE's FIGHT WITH THE FBI - MORE THAN PRIVACY VS SECURITY


FEBRUARY 24 -Nico Sell, co-founder of Wickr, protects her retinal privacy at Code/Mobile. PHOTO FROM RECODE.NET Apple’s battle with the FBI has dominated headlines for the last couple of weeks. What some see as a defining moment for privacy, others view as the FBI exercising its right to unlock one phone in the name of security and protection. To break down what is really going on here, I asked Nico Sell, the co-founder and co-chairman of mobile application Wickr and founder of the Wickr Foundation, to weigh in. Wickr claims to be the most secure messaging platform in the world, encrypting your data so that anything shared through the platform is never saved -- anywhere. Given the stakes that a potential Supreme Court case could have on her business and the work of her foundation, Sell gives her take on the biggest issues at hand right now. Caroline Fairchild: What's your take on the FBI/Apple news? Nico Sell: To us at Wickr Foundation, the issue at stake is the tension between security and government access to data. This isn’t about one iPhone; it is about setting a legal and a political precedent that would allow governments to gain access to private networks and products. The OS Apple is required to build would be general, it would work on any phone of the same model, it will have to be tested to ensure it properly performs the task. This is exactly what a backdoor looks like. Clearly, we are in uncharted territory here and are testing the bounds of the law, cyber security policy and consumer trust. CF: What does the future of customer data protection look like? NS: Our belief is that the next decade will be about building security into technology. The most secure and reliably growing businesses will be the ones that have successfully reimagined their business models to only collect user data that they realistically are capable of protecting. Otherwise, they will suffer significant economic consequences as a result of data breaches and targeted malicious attacks. READ MORE...RELATED PHILIPPINE MOBILE DATA SPEED FASTER THAN JAPAN, HK...

ALSO: Weak peso pushes gov’t debt up 2.6% to P5.9 T


MARCH 5 -The peso’s persistent weakness against the dollar pushed up the national government’s debt pile at the start of the year, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday. STAR/File photo
The peso’s persistent weakness against the dollar pushed up the national government’s debt pile at the start of the year, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday.
Obligations totaled P5.9 trillion in January, up 2.6 percent from P5.75 trillion in the same period a year ago. Compared to end-2015, however, liabilities inched down 0.9 percent from P5.955 trillion. Broken down, domestic debt declined, while their external counterparts rose. “The increment in external obligations was due to the impact of the peso weakness on dollar-denominated debt that raised the peso value (of obligations),” the Treasury said in a statement. “This outweighed the net depreciation of third currencies against the dollar and net repayments that reduced the peso value of debt...,” it added. Specifically, foreign debts rose 7.9 percent to P2.076 trillion, data showed. READ MORE...

ALSO: As oil prices rebound inflation seen spiking to 3%


MARCH 6 -Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist at ING Bank Manila, said inflation would trend towards the middle of the two to four percent target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Philstar.com/File
 Dutch financial giant ING Bank expects inflation kicking up closer to three percent in the second half of the year with the projected rebound of oil prices in the world market.
Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist at ING Bank Manila, said inflation would trend towards the middle of the two to four percent target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Cuyegkeng pointed out inflation would edge up to two percent this year after easing to 1.4 percent last year from 4.1 percent in 2014 due to lower food prices and cheaper utility rates amid the softening of oil prices in the world market. “We are slightly more optimistic with inflation averaging at two percent this year. This monetary policy leeway may narrow in the second half as inflation trends closer to three percent,” he said. He added the uptrend would imply that inflation next year could be closer to the upper end of the two to four percent BSP target range. “Oil prices are expected to gradually recover later this year as oil demand starts to catch up and as production more or less remains at January output levels. Also China’s economic condition may turn more favorable later this year as property prices continue to recover and monetary and fiscal policies gain more traction,” Cuyegkeng said. READ MORE ALSO, Over 300 Batangas SMEs explore latest digital business solutions...

ALSO: By Babe Rodriguez - The new ‘Firm’ firmly behind Jojo Binay


MARCH 3 -Villaraza & Angangco Law chairman and CEO Pancho Villaraza invited Manila’s top 400 for cocktails at the Rainmakers Lounge of the V&A Law Center in Bonifacio Global City to introduce the new managing partners of “The Firm.” 
The law firm’s high value clients, several politicians and businessmen turned up to welcome Alejandro Navarro and Augusto San Pedro Jr., both of whom have impeccable credentials that will certainly make V&A Law even more of a legal powerhouse. Both Navarro and San Pedro are from the UP College of Law, graduating at the top 10 of their classes. During the cocktails, Pancho made a bet for a case of Dom Pérignon with jet-setting philanthropist Nene Quimson that Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas would lose to Vice President Jojo Binay in the May presidential elections. Nene gamely called the wager, with the two firmly shaking hands on the bet. Pancho is known as a staunch supporter of the vice president. It’s quite clear “The Firm” is firmly behind the candidacy of Jojo Binay. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: 19-year-old Norwegian girl is world’s youngest billionaire—Forbes


MARCH 3 -Alexandra Andresen, a lover of horses, is the world’s youngest billionaire at just 19. ALEXANDRA ANDRESEN/INSTAGRAM A Norwegian teenager has been named the world’s youngest billionaire, following business magazine Forbes’ release of its 2016 ranking of the world’s richest people on Tuesday (March 1). Alexandra Andresen, 19, who is worth an estimated US$1.2 billion (S$1.68 billion), has been ranked joint 1476th on the 1,810-strong list along with her 20-year-old sister Katharina. The sisters’ wealth stems from the 42.2 per cent stakes they each hold in private investment company Ferd. Their father, Johan Andresen, transferred the stock to them in 2007, although he still maintains control of the company. But the duo lead comparatively low-key lives. Alexandra’s net worth was not known until she turned 17, when the authorities began publishing her annual tax return figures.
The Telegraph reported that Mr. Andresen insisted that his daughters buy their cars second-hand. They also attended a local state school in Oslo after returning from stints in British boarding schools. “I actually save all the time, I have always done,” Ms. Andresen said in an interview with Ferd’s corporate magazine in 2015. READ MORE...RELATED, Henry Sy still Philippines's richest... ALSO, Avida helps millennials make wiser investment decisions with ‘Homepossible’and ALL ABOUT AVIDA...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Q&A: Why Apple's Fight With The FBI Is About More Than Privacy vs. Security


Nico Sell, co-founder of Wickr, protects her retinal privacy at Code/Mobile. PHOTO FROM RECODE.NET

MANILA, MARCH 7, 2016 (PULSE) Caroline Fairchild New Economy Editor at LinkedIn Feb 28, 2016 - Apple’s battle with the FBI has dominated headlines for the last couple of weeks. What some see as a defining moment for privacy, others view as the FBI exercising its right to unlock one phone in the name of security and protection.

To break down what is really going on here, I asked Nico Sell, the co-founder and co-chairman of mobile application Wickr and founder of the Wickr Foundation, to weigh in.

Wickr claims to be the most secure messaging platform in the world, encrypting your data so that anything shared through the platform is never saved -- anywhere.

Given the stakes that a potential Supreme Court case could have on her business and the work of her foundation, Sell gives her take on the biggest issues at hand right now.


Caroline Fairchild: What's your take on the FBI/Apple news?
FOLLOW

Nico Sell: To us at Wickr Foundation, the issue at stake is the tension between security and government access to data. This isn’t about one iPhone; it is about setting a legal and a political precedent that would allow governments to gain access to private networks and products. The OS Apple is required to build would be general, it would work on any phone of the same model, it will have to be tested to ensure it properly performs the task. This is exactly what a backdoor looks like. Clearly, we are in uncharted territory here and are testing the bounds of the law, cyber security policy and consumer trust.

CF: What does the future of customer data protection look like?

NS: Our belief is that the next decade will be about building security into technology. The most secure and reliably growing businesses will be the ones that have successfully reimagined their business models to only collect user data that they realistically are capable of protecting. Otherwise, they will suffer significant economic consequences as a result of data breaches and targeted malicious attacks.

READ MORE...

CF: Where has the conversation on customer data and encryption shifted the most in the past 5 years since Wickr was founded?

NS: The change in public interest and understanding of the need for encryption is very significant, particularly since the Snowden revelations. Last year, 29% of North American traffic, including communications and banking, was protected by encryption of various degrees of sophistication. That number has been steadily growing since it was recorded at 2.29% in 2013. Through our education work, we see a huge shift among human rights activists working in authoritarian countries, journalists and kids – they now realize how exposed they are by simply using consumer tech.

CF: How, if at all, does the FBI/Apple case affect the technology space and the educational work Wickr Foundation is doing?

NS: The main concern is that this order to force Apple to “hack” its own customers may result in stifling innovation in privacy and security. How can we expect the U.S. tech sector to remain innovative in building security products when they know they can be asked to nullify their products' integrity? And that will result in weaker security for all – American consumers, businesses, and government entities. On the education side, we believe it is more important than ever to focus on raising awareness among policy-makers and the public about the digital security hygiene and the implications of critical policies currently considered by Congress.

CF: What do you think is missing from the debate?

NS: The missing piece is clearly the understanding of technology. Most parties to this debate operate with sound bites that have very little connection with how security actually works. It is important for us all — law enforcement, policy-makers, and technologists — to work together in finding a way to secure our critical infrastructure, communications networks, and our businesses from data breaches, instead of weakening our protections.

CF: What do you think would be the worst possible outcome for tech companies with this decision?

NS: If Apple is forced to build a compromised version of iOS, more government requests will flow through the courts. More nations will demand similar access to the U.S. tech products. The legal precedent will be used to require companies to “customize” their security in a variety of applications – to enable law enforcement to turn on a mic in your car to record your conversations, to activate a camera on your smart TV in aid of government surveillance, etc. Everyone’s security in the world where the Web is a global resource is at stake. Because when the Web is not secure, it is safe for no one.

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FROM MALAYA MALAYA

PH MOBILE DATA SPEED FASTER THAN JAPAN, HK By Myla Iglesias March 04, 2016

Mobile internet services in the Philippines posted steady improvement last year driven by telcos’ aggressive network expansion, according to the Asia Network Quality Report of J.P. Morgan Securities.

The report said the advances were most felt in carriers’ 3G mobile data service as the country’s average 3G download speed increased from 1.77 megabits per second (Mbps) in the third quarter to 2.09 Mbps in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In effect smartphone users now need only seconds to connect to Facebook or watch YouTube . Telcos, however said, they cannot give categorical length of time on how fast their service can be since download speed will depend on how up to date is the cellphone, the strength of the signal and how many are using the service.

In a previous forum on internet service, an expert said that Philippine telcos are among the most profitable in emerging countries yet their service in terms of connectivity is one of the slowest in the world and one of the most expensive.

The Philippines thus posted higher 3G download rates by end-2015 than Thailand (1.46 Mbps), Japan (1.56 Mbps) and Hong Kong (2.05 Mbps), based on the J.P. Morgan report which cited crowd-sourced data gathered by wireless coverage research firm OpenSignal.

In a statement, Smart Communications, Inc. said its average 3G download speed has improved from 1.66 Mbps in the third quarter to 2.54 Mbps in the fourth quarter last year.

Globe Telecom, Inc.’s speed, meanwhile, deteriorated by 17 percent from an average of 2.065 Mbps during the second quarter of last year to 1.72 Mbps by the fourth quarter.

READ MORE..

Globe cited difficulty in setting up cellsites. It said it has 500 cell sites waiting to be built.

Smart said it “paid specific attention to enhancing our 3G capacity and resiliency because about 90 percent of our subscribers who go online use 3G handsets. Improving our 3G data service delivers immediate benefits to the largest number of people in our subscriber base,” said Ariel Fermin, head of Smart’s Consumer Group.

“At the same time, we are also building for the future. So we continue to roll out our 4G/LTE (long-term evolution) network because we expect more and more people to start using 4G/LTE handsets,” he added.

According to the J.P. Morgan report, there has been an encouraging trend in 4G/LTE download speeds in the Philippines.

The report added the combined average speed for both Globe and Smart has risen from about 5 Mbps in early 2015 to over 10 Mbps by yearend.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Smart allocated P43 billion in capital expenditures in 2015, largely for their network infrastructure. Globe has allocated a smaller P37.6 billion ($800 million) capex.

Smart noted its 3G download speeds in Caloocan City, for example, rose from 2.08 Mbps in October to 2.91 Mbps in December last year.

Download speed also rose from 2.09 Mbps to 3.30 Mbps in Pasig, and from 1.77 Mbps to 2.32 Mbps in Davao over the same period.

“This is a moving target because customer habits are shifting to more bandwidth-heavy services like video streaming. Mindful of that, we are focused on building and maintaining a superior network as the foundation of our digital strategy,” Fermin said.

“We are combining this with our drive to offer more affordable devices and more flexible data packages that will enable more Filipinos to enjoy the innovative digital services that we are bringing to the market,” he added.


PHILSTAR

Weak peso pushes gov’t debt up 2.6% to P5.9 T By Prinz Magtulis (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 5, 2016 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


The peso’s persistent weakness against the dollar pushed up the national government’s debt pile at the start of the year, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The peso’s persistent weakness against the dollar pushed up the national government’s debt pile at the start of the year, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday.

Obligations totaled P5.9 trillion in January, up 2.6 percent from P5.75 trillion in the same period a year ago.

Compared to end-2015, however, liabilities inched down 0.9 percent from P5.955 trillion. Broken down, domestic debt declined, while their external counterparts rose.

“The increment in external obligations was due to the impact of the peso weakness on dollar-denominated debt that raised the peso value (of obligations),” the Treasury said in a statement.

“This outweighed the net depreciation of third currencies against the dollar and net repayments that reduced the peso value of debt...,” it added.

Specifically, foreign debts rose 7.9 percent to P2.076 trillion, data showed.

READ MORE...

Under the category, direct loans by agencies climbed 15.9 percent to P781.758 billion, while foreign-denominated securities went up 3.6 percent to P1.294 trillion.

The peso, Asia’s best performer last year’s according to Bloomberg, already depreciated by 1.33 percent versus the greenback as of January.

A weaker peso increases the value of foreign debt as this would mean the government would need to spend more pesos to settle them.

Meanwhile, domestic debt decreased 0.1 percent year-on-year to P3.824 trillion in January.

The decrease emanated from “net redemption of government securities,” which means the government paid more Treasury papers than issued new ones during the period.

There was an outstanding P3.824 trillion in Treasury bonds and bills as of January, down from P3.827 trillion a year ago.

The government borrows from the domestic and foreign markets to finance its budget deficit and pay existing obligations.


PHILSTAR

As oil prices rebound inflation seen spiking to 3% By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 6, 2016 - 12:00am 2 2 googleplus0 0


Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist at ING Bank Manila, said inflation would trend towards the middle of the two to four percent target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – Dutch financial giant ING Bank expects inflation kicking up closer to three percent in the second half of the year with the projected rebound of oil prices in the world market.

Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist at ING Bank Manila, said inflation would trend towards the middle of the two to four percent target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Cuyegkeng pointed out inflation would edge up to two percent this year after easing to 1.4 percent last year from 4.1 percent in 2014 due to lower food prices and cheaper utility rates amid the softening of oil prices in the world market.

“We are slightly more optimistic with inflation averaging at two percent this year. This monetary policy leeway may narrow in the second half as inflation trends closer to three percent,” he said.

He added the uptrend would imply that inflation next year could be closer to the upper end of the two to four percent BSP target range.

“Oil prices are expected to gradually recover later this year as oil demand starts to catch up and as production more or less remains at January output levels. Also China’s economic condition may turn more favorable later this year as property prices continue to recover and monetary and fiscal policies gain more traction,” Cuyegkeng said.

READ MORE...

The ING Bank economist said the BSP’s monetary policy stance would likely remain accommodative in the near term as improved government spending and infrastructure projects would boost economic growth.

“We expect BSP monetary policy to turn more hawkish later this year to ensure inflation remains within expected levels,” he added.

ING Bank is closely monitoring risks as it expects a pre-emptive policy tightening in the second half to ensure inflation and its expectations remain within the target range in 2017.

Inflation in February slipped to its lowest level in four months as it fell below one percent due to lower food prices and cheaper energy. The country’s inflation eased for the second straight month to 0.9 percent in February from 1.3 percent in January.

Earlier, the BSP’s Monetary Board slashed its inflation forecast to 2.2 percent instead of 2.4 percent but retained next year’s projection at 3.2 percent.

This was due to the rollback in the minimum fares for jeepneys to P7 from P7.50 last January as well as the lowering of the forecast for Dubai crude oil to $31.62 per barrel instead of $44.90 per barrel this year and to $37.53 per barrel instead of $50.29 per barrel next year.

The inflation turnout at 1.5 percent for December and 1.3 percent for January were lower compared to the forecast of the Monetary Board.

Last Feb. 11, the BSP kept interest rates steady unchanged for 11 straight policy-setting meetings since October 2014 amid the robust domestic demand and the manageable inflation dynamics.

The overnight borrowing rate is currently pegged at four percent while the overnight lending rate is at six percent since September 2014. The interest rates on special deposit accounts remained at 2.5 percent while the reserve requirement ratios were likely left unchanged.

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PHILSTAR

Over 300 Batangas SMEs explore latest digital business solutions (philstar.com) | Updated March 2, 2016 - 2:43pm 1 4 googleplus0 0


Globe myBusiness brand ambassador RJ Ledesma checks out the booths and interacts with partner-exhibitors. Globe Telecom

MANILA, Philippines – More than 300 entrepreneurs in Batangas City learned about the latest digital business solutions available Wednesday during Globe myBusiness Day at SM City Batangas Activity Center.

Globe myBusiness, the small and medium enterprise (SME) arm of Globe Telecom, has been working with local government units to bring Globe myBusiness Day caravan, a one-stop exhibit for entrepreneurs, across the country. It previously rolled out in Cauayan, Isabela and Davao.

“Through our institutionalized Globe myBusiness Day caravans, we are helping entrepreneurs discover new ways of doing business to stay competitive in the digital age through our portfolio of solutions, interesting talks and sharing of best practices, and wide array of business investment opportunities from partner suppliers, franchisors and loan facilities,” said Globe myBusiness Vice President Barbie Dapul.

At the exhibit, entrepreneurs can explore new business opportunities, find new ways to increase their revenues, discover new solutions to stay competitive in the digital age, meet and be inspired by successful entrepreneurs, and get great deals from suppliers to save on costs through showcase of the latest digital solutions, insightful speaker discussions and interactive display of booths from participating SMEs.

Aside from showcasing its portfolio of offerings, Globe myBusiness also brought RJ Ledesma, co-founder of Mercato Centrale Food Market, and Anthony Pangilinan, chairman of chief disturber of Businessworks Inc. to share tips and tricks to help make businesses better.

READ MORE...

One of the SME solutions Globe offers is the Globe myBusiness Tracker, a do-it-yourself portable GPS tracking solution that enables users to monitor the real-time location of their vehicles even without the need of device installation. With it, users can improve delivery planning and driving habits, and save unnecessary costs. The Globe myBusiness Tracker is available at Plan 699 with 24 months of lock-up period in Globe stores nationwide.

There’s also Shopify, an ecommerce platform that allows anyone to open their own online store in minutes. It is one of the solutions that will help SMEs to simplify and professionalize their business operations for P659 a month.

Globe myBusiness is also offering myShopkeeper, a cloud-based sales and inventory tracking solution; Google Apps for Work, which provides businesses with custom email address; Canvas for digital business forms and receipts; and Globe Charge, a mobile card reader attached to a smartphone which allows entrepreneurs to accept credit card payments even when they are on-the-go.

To know more about the activities of Globe myBusiness Day, visit https://mybusiness.globe.com.ph/mybusinessday. To learn more about Globe myBusiness and its suite of products and services, visit https://mybusiness.globe.com.ph.

READ MORE RELATED:

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Globe customers can now buy prepaid load at Robinsons department stores

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PHILSTAR

The new ‘Firm’ firmly behind Jojo Binay SPY BITS By Babe G. Romualdez (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 3, 2016 - 12:00am 1 2 googleplus0 0



Villaraza & Angangco Law chairman and CEO Pancho Villaraza invited Manila’s top 400 for cocktails at the Rainmakers Lounge of the V&A Law Center in Bonifacio Global City to introduce the new managing partners of “The Firm.”

The law firm’s high value clients, several politicians and businessmen turned up to welcome Alejandro Navarro and Augusto San Pedro Jr., both of whom have impeccable credentials that will certainly make V&A Law even more of a legal powerhouse. Both Navarro and San Pedro are from the UP College of Law, graduating at the top 10 of their classes.

During the cocktails, Pancho made a bet for a case of Dom Pérignon with jet-setting philanthropist Nene Quimson that Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas would lose to Vice President Jojo Binay in the May presidential elections. Nene gamely called the wager, with the two firmly shaking hands on the bet.

Pancho is known as a staunch supporter of the vice president. It’s quite clear “The Firm” is firmly behind the candidacy of Jojo Binay.

CONTINUE READING...

Balesin acquires new jet

Members of Alphaland’s exclusive Balesin Island Club are excited over the newly acquired ATR72 500 that landed in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport the other day after a four-day ferry flight from Toulouse, France. The 68-seater ATR72 500, which is one of the most popular regional aircrafts worldwide, will beef up the aviation fleet of Alphaland that includes the Jetstream 32.

Once all the regulatory requirements are completed most likely by next week, the aircraft will be in service for Club members and guests.

The 500-hectare ultra high-end island resort located in Quezon province is receiving a lot of guests especially at this time of the year, with the reservations for the Holy Week almost full at 95 percent.

Maserati unveils new SUV

More than a decade after it first disclosed plans of joining the SUV crossover market, Italian sports car manufacturer Maserati finally unveiled its first ever SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Called the Levante – which is the name of a warm easterly Mediterranean wind – the $76,000 luxury vehicle is expected to bring the winds of change that would improve the fortunes of thousands of Italian automobile industry workers who have been laid off following the financial crisis.

The Levante is set to challenge the supremacy of BMW, Bentley and the Porsche, with the SUV to go on sale in Europe this May while North American buyers will have to wait until September to get their hands on the vehicle. The new entrant is expected to enhance the visibility of Maserati, which has had to deal with weak domestic sales.

Executives say they are looking at 75,000 annual vehicle sales by 2018 for all brands/models manufactured by Fiat Chrysler with the Maserati Levante as a frontrunner. Industry observers say a major challenge would be to drum up interest in the US and China where demand for high end automobiles has weakened in the past few years.

This early though, reception has been encouraging with some reviewers already christening the Levante as a “fast and sexy” SUV that could give the Porsche Cayenne a run for its money. Described as an evolved version of the Quattroporte and Ghibli, the ultra luxury, sleek SUV can accelerate from zero to 100-kph in six seconds with a top speed of 251-kph. It comes with a wide range of driver assistance systems that include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic brake system, a blind spot alert and a surround view camera, among many others.

The Levante comes in two options – Sport and Luxury – for those who want their vehicle to come with a bit more style or prefer more technical features.


Babe Romualdez @ PHILSTAR BUSINESS COLUMN 'SPYBITS'
Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez writes the regular Sunday column “Babe’s Eye View” for Philippine STAR. His writings cover a wide range of topics that provide incisive comments mainly on what’s happening in the country. Babe Romualdez began his career in media as a news reporter for RPN Primetime Television News in the Philippines. He eventually became the executive assistant to the Chairman of the Board of the same station. He later worked as president and eventually as vice chairman of the Board of the Television Corporation of the Philippines. He is currently the President and CEO of Stargate Media Corp., an affiliate of Philippine STAR and the publishing company of PEOPLE Asia magazine. PHNO ARCHIVE FILE


INQUIRER

19-year-old Norwegian girl is world’s youngest billionaire—Forbes SHARES: 7867 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet The Straits Times/Asia News Network 04:56 PM March 3rd, 2016


Alexandra Andresen, a lover of horses, is the world’s youngest billionaire at just 19. ALEXANDRA ANDRESEN/INSTAGRAM

A Norwegian teenager has been named the world’s youngest billionaire, following business magazine Forbes’ release of its 2016 ranking of the world’s richest people on Tuesday (March 1).

Alexandra Andresen, 19, who is worth an estimated US$1.2 billion (S$1.68 billion), has been ranked joint 1476th on the 1,810-strong list along with her 20-year-old sister Katharina.

The sisters’ wealth stems from the 42.2 per cent stakes they each hold in private investment company Ferd. Their father, Johan Andresen, transferred the stock to them in 2007, although he still maintains control of the company.

But the duo lead comparatively low-key lives. Alexandra’s net worth was not known until she turned 17, when the authorities began publishing her annual tax return figures.

The Telegraph reported that Mr. Andresen insisted that his daughters buy their cars second-hand. They also attended a local state school in Oslo after returning from stints in British boarding schools.

“I actually save all the time, I have always done,” Ms. Andresen said in an interview with Ferd’s corporate magazine in 2015.

READ MORE...

“I save when I get my weekly allowance, and I save the cash prizes I win in competitions or if I get money as a gift for my birthday. It means I can buy myself things I really want, like a bag or a pair of shoes, without having to ask mum or dad for money.”

Just out of high school, Ms. Andresen is a professional dressage rider currently based in Germany, where she competes in international competitions and hopes to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Her Instagram page, which has nearly 22,000 followers, showcases her love for horses and the sport.

But while she is fully focused on her professional riding career for now, she has not ruled out taking her place in the family company eventually.

In a post on Ferd’s website, she wrote: “I feel a great responsibility. I want to help develop Ferd and make it even better.”

According to Forbes, Ferd started out in 1849 as a tobacco-making company before leaving the industry in 2005, when it sold its share for nearly US$500 million.

It is now a holding company with diverse interests, which include real estate and a hedge fund.

Forbes’ assistant managing editor, Kerry Dolan, told The Telegraph that it was remarkable the three youngest billionaires on the list were all Norwegian. The third youngest is 22-year-old Gustav Magnar Witzoe – with a net worth of US$1.1 billion – after he inherited 47 per cent of SalMar ASA, a leading farmed salmon producer.

“Their fortune is all inherited,” Ms. Dolan noted, adding that tax reasons and the Scandivanian culture of handing over fortunes to the younger generation earlier so as to engage them in the family business were possible explanations.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of US$75 billion, topped Forbes’ rankings for the third year running.

Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega, best known for the retail chain Zara, took second spot with US$67 billion, while US investor Warren Buffet’s US$60.8 billion fortune placed him third.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest mover on the list, climbing 10 spots to sixth after his net worth reached US$44.6 billion – up from US$33.4 billion last year.

RELATED STORIES

11 PH tycoons on Forbes’ 2016 roster of billionaires

Fil-Am is world’s second youngest billionaire–Forbes

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Henry Sy still Philippines's richest By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 3, 2016 - 12:00am 3 32 googleplus0 2


Mall and real estate magnate Henry Sy Sr., with a net worth of $12.9 billion, ranked 71st on the list while another taipan, 88-year-old John Gokongwei, was second richest in the Philippines, ranking 270th with a net worth of $5 billion. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – Mall and real estate magnate Henry Sy Sr. is still the country’s richest man, leading 11 other Filipinos who made it to Forbes magazine’s 2016 annual billionaires list.

The list covered 1,810 billionaires around the world, down from a record 1,826 the previous year.

The 91-year-old Sy, with a net worth of $12.9 billion, ranked 71st on the list while another taipan, 88-year-old John Gokongwei, was second richest in the Philippines, ranking 270th with a net worth of $5 billion.

Airline and tobacco magnate Lucio Tan, 81, has a net worth of $4 billion. He came in third among the 11 Filipino billionaires and No. 380 on the annual Forbes list.

George Ty, 83, ranked 4th among Filipino billionaires and 421st on the list.

Three Filipinos, meanwhile, were tied at 569th place: 94-year-old construction mogul David Consunji, 63-year-old mall and property magnate Andrew Tan and 63-year-old fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. founder Tony Tan Caktiong, all with a net worth of $3 billion.

Other Filipinos on the list are ports tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., 55, with a net worth of $2.4 billion and 722nd on the global list; retailer Lucio Co, 61, with a net worth of $1. 6 billion; and Robert Coyiuto Jr., 63, with a net worth of $1.6 billion. Co and Coyiuto share the 1,121st slot.

Mass housing tycoon and former senator Manuel Villar, 66, landed in the 1,367th spot, with a net worth of $1.3 billion.

The Filipino billionaires have a combined fortune of $42.75 billion or P2,021.65 trillion.

Worldwide, Microsoft-founder Bill Gates has remained the world’s richest person on Forbes 30th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires.

His net worth of $75 billion was lower than the $79.2 billion in 2015. He has consistently topped the list for 17 of the last 22 years.

Zara global fashion brand owner Amancio Ortega, meanwhile, emerged as the second richest person on the planet, moving up two notches as his net worth increased $2.5 billion for a total of $67 billion.

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MANILA BULLETIN

Avida helps millennials make wiser investment decisions with ‘Homepossible’ by MB Online February 19, 2016 (updated) Share81 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share124


Anne Baylon-Jara Avida’s Marketing Manager Anne Baylon-Jara

With better jobs, and increased spending power, Filipino millennials or those who belong to the 25-35 age bracket, have access to the finer things in life- be it gadgets, travels and fashion items. They want more things, and they want them quick, sometimes forgetting to make important long-term investments that can help secure their future.

Avida Land, a subsidiary of Ayala Land, and one of the leading real estate companies in the Philippines, is hoping to improve the financial habits of millennials, and encourage them to practice better management of their money, through its ‘Homepossible’ series.

Started in 2013, Homepossible is a series of grand home fair events that encouraged prospective home owners to take the steps towards financial independence and better wealth management. During the event, expert thought leaders give talkson financial management. Prospective home owners are also treated to special payment discounts and deals, bank tie-ups for special offers and freebies from event partners.

“Learning how to manage one’s finances is the first step towards achieving financial freedom. Nowadays, there are many venues where you can invest and grow your hard-earned money; there are lost opportunities if you mishandle your finances. Millennials have more time to grow their investments so they have to take advantage of that,” said Anne Baylon-Jara, Avida marketing manager.

Baylon-Jara noted that it is best for any investor to diversify his portfolio based on his life goals. One key investment area , she stressed, is real estate.

“Young Filipinos can invest in the financial and real estate markets. Property is indeed a good investment – take into consideration the increasing land values, and you can also realize gains from rental income. They also have a choice whether to live in the property that they bought or use it in the future,” she added.

Baylon-Jara further noted that “buying a home is a major investment, and it is even more important for millennials to consciously and wisely manage their finances to achieve their dream homes”.

“These homes will serve as the springboard to open up better life opportunities and possibilities for them in the future,” she said.

Avida Land is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the Philippines. Since its launch, it has expanded its project base and has a total of 75 projects in 39 strategic locations all over the Philippines, ranging from condos, ranging from condos, house and lot, and mixed-use developments to offices.

The real estate company expects the growing purchasing power of Filipino millennials to help boost sales. This can even be spurred by a more financially educated market benefited by the Homepossible series.

“Increasing sales from the millennial segment has also been observed over the past years. While Avida’s core market remains to be the middle age segment 36-49 years old, BC1 SEC, the company saw the opportunity to tap this millennial market to expand its reach,” Baylon-Jara explained.

This February, Avida staged the Homepossible: Jumpstart Conference at the Fairmont Hotel. It was highlighted by the launch of a free financial journal written by 5 financial advisers to serve as a handy, user-friendly guide to investing and thoughtfully planning financials. This financial freedom roadmap is authored by none other than the industry’s thought leaders—Efren Cruz, Fitz Villafuerte, Kendrick Chua, Rienzie Biolena, and Salve Duplito—in the hopes of helping millennials strive for, and eventually, achieve their life goals.

The Avida Homepossible series is primarily held in Metro Manila, though it has staged a leg of the series in Cebu. Baylon-Jara said Avida Land is continuing to evaluate if it can roll out the series to different locations nationwide.

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ABOUT AVIDA WEBPAGE @ http://www.avidaland.com/about-us/brand-history

Brand History Transforming land, names, and lives

Since it developed the vast tract of swamp land that is now the bustling city of Makati, Ayala Corporation has become a name indelibly etched in the minds of Filipinos as a visionary developer of land, as a builder of dreams.

Yet, it was only in 1988 when Ayala Corporation spun off its real estate division into a separate company, giving birth to Ayala Land Inc. (ALI).

ALI then was primarily associated with high-end projects, whether central business districts, commercial centers, or exclusive family residences, found mostly in Makati and Alabang in Muntinlupa City.

Laying The Foundation

In 1990, ALI expanded its offering to include middle-income housing units and communities, with the establishment of Laguna Properties Holdings, Inc. (LPHI). It was at this time that ALI acquired the 400-hectare property of the Yulo family in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and transformed it into an integrated industrial-residential-commercial masterplanned development. It was also where the 120-hectare residential component was developed into what are now known as Sta. Rosa Village and San Jose Village, with about 2,500 housing units for middle-class Filipinos.

With the success of these projects, LPHI had established itself as a company that was set to fulfill ALI's vision of "Enhancing Land, Enriching Lives, for More People".

Under the helm of Manuel J. Colayco, Jr., Avida/LPHI's first president, and emboldened by its initial success, LPHI continued to expand its product offering with larger-sized homes in Santarosa Estates, as well as other locations such as San Isidro Village in Batangas City, San Antonio Heights and San Rafael Estates in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Sta. Isabel Village in Lucena, Quezon and San Francisco Village in Pacol, Naga.

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In 2002, LPHI continued its rapid expansion to residential development growth areas in Antipolo, Rizal with St. Gabriel Heights and St. Alexandra Estates, in Lipa, Batangas with Villa Sta. Monica, in Dasmarinas, Cavite with Sta. Catalina and Sta. Cecilia Villages, and Sta. Arcadia Estates in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. Inspired by changes in the lifestyles of the middle-class market, LPHI also successfully offered and sold a hacienda/farm lot development called Hacienda Sta. Monica in Lipa, Batangas.

The year 2003 saw the company's first foray into the residential condominiums with its first with its first vertical project called One Aeropolis (renamed Avida Towers Sucat) in Sucat, Paranaque. Barely a year later, Aeropolis New Manila (Avida Towers New Manila), located along Boni Serrano Ave. in Quezon City, was launched. Sequel towers to both projects followed just a year after its respective sales launches.

Likewise, in support of the government's thrust to serve the housing needs of the soldiers, LPHI closed a deal with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to design and build housing units on a 20-hectare land in Camp Riego de Dios, Tanza, Cavite.

By 2005, LPHI already had 22 projects in 10 locations, offering almost 18,000 residential units over 600 hectares.

Reinforcing The Brand

With the retirement of Colayco, ALI veteran Dinna G. Bayangos assumed the stewardship of LPHI. One of her priorities was to convert the company into a brand, to push the corporate agenda of brand awareness to define LPHI's core strengths, and to build a distinct and compelling positioning for LPHI.

In January 2006, to create a broader public awareness and effective brand recall, LPHI changed its name to Avida Land Corp. The new brand name and logo reflect the position of the company as a leading provider of affordable homes to Filipino families in ideal communities, further distinguishing Ayala's affordable housing developments from the increasing number of industry players.

Avida comes from the Latin words "ave" (meaning "bird" or "celebration") and "vida" (meaning "life"), which in tandem means ‘'to celebrate life.'' Brand consultants were commissioned to conduct a market research and brand study to determine a distinct and compelling market positioning for its products.

One of the homeowners interviewed for the brand study exhibited a strong sense of pride and accomplishment in being able to acquire an Ayala product, uttering "Kaya ko palang bumili ng Ayala".

Another homeowner professed full trust in Ayala stating: "Di kami iiwanan lang basta-basta".

Yet another homeowner felt freed from the bondage of both working abroad, of his family's crowded living conditions. Indeed, he had gone from "buhay kalapati" to "buhay agila!''

To further bolster the brand, projects names were changed to carry the new company name, among them, Avida Communities, Avida Residences, Avida Village and Avida Towers. The purpose however remained the same - to transform the life of every homeowner through quality living in an Avida community.

In January 2006, Avida Land launched Avida Towers San Lazaro, a joint-venture with the Manila Jockey Club to turn part of the San Lazaro Hippodrome into a residential complex composed of five towers. This development was part and parcel of a larger ALI development which includes business process outsourcing (BPO) offices and a high-end project of Alveo Land, another ALI company.

Additional residential subdivision projects followed, among them, Avida Residences San Isidro in Batangas City, and Avida Residences San Fernando in Pampanga.

Growing The Business

Now headed by Christopher B. Maglanoc, Avida continues to push the limits of the economic housing market by focusing on the unique demands of its growing clientele. The company aims to fulfill its brand tagline of "sure and secure" living for its buyers, by undertaking projects on the strength of its Five Brand Pillars: Accessibility, Unique features and amenities, Quality assurance, Stress-free buying/selling experience, and Relaxing living experience.

(Avida's brand awareness showed a remarkable increase among its target consumers from a 22% level in its launch year of 2006 to as much as 81% in 2009, almost quadrupling over a span of only 4 years!)

By 2007, Avida Land was well on its way to reach newer heights with the development of the 22-hectare American-home inspired Avida Settings Cavite and the 43-hectare modern contemporary-home inspired Avida Settings Nuvali, which is part of the 1,700-hectare masterplanned township of ALI in Laguna. These two projects alone added over 2,400 residential units to Avida's inventory.

As condominium living started to gain wider market acceptance, Avida introduced its first venture in Makati in 2007 with the launch of the two-building Avida Towers Makati West.

Avida did not rest on its laurels and continued to plan and to develop new projects in other areas. The year 2009 saw the launch of the two-tower Avida Towers San Lorenzo, Avida's second foray in the Makati area. Now establishing another premium address for Avida homeowners, the company remains consistent with its goal of providing primary and halfway homes to the working class.

The year 2010, Avida's 20th year, is yet another banner year for the company with the launch of both horizontal and vertical developments. Among the horizontal projects are Avida Estates Nuvali and Avida Village Nuvali, both in Laguna; and Avida Village Iloilo and Avida Village Bacolod in the Visayas, The high-rise projects, on the other hand, include Avida Towers Alabang in Muntinlupa; Avida Towers Global City in Taguig; and Avida Towers Cebu, its first condominium project in the Visayas.

Avida Village projects were also introduced across many locations to allow the lower income-bracket (broad C housing market) to purchase an Ayala product.

As of the first half of 2014, Avida Land has 67 projects in 29 unique locations and is continuously expanding its project portfolio across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Investing In People

Over the past 20 years, Avida's workforce has grown alongside the company, constantly adapting to the changing business landscape. The Avida organization is divided into seven units, that include the Office of the President, Finance, Project and Strategic Management, Supply Chain Management , Marketing and Sales, Human Resources and Customer Care , and Technical Services , adding up to a close to 200-strong workforce.

The delivery of the five pillars encapsulated by Avida's brand promise relies on Avida's workforce, and Avida values the members of its organization by promoting their growth and development and by providing an environment that fosters creativity, professionalism, and productivity as well as competitive salaries and benefits.

Avida's employees serve as brand stewards, and each unit contributes to the fulfillment of its brand promise. Avida invests in people to embody its corporate values: embody its corporate values: integrity, commitment, quality, customer orientation, and teamwork.

In managing performance and productivity, objectives and measures are clearly identified and training programs are in place to achieve the expected results. Trainings in brand championing are consistently given, while foundational training programs reinforce the values the employees have to live up to. Competency and other needs-based training programs are also provided to ensure the professional growth of our employees.

Being a housing company, Avida also opens the option for employees to avail of Avida properties with product discounts and special offerings.

Avida also maintains an open line of communication with its staff, adapting communication as a way of life with an open-door policy across levels. They hold regular ‘kapihan,' breakfasts with the President, and town hall meetings to update employees on the latest business developments and challenges. These are also venues for employees to voice out suggestions and thoughts about the business, as well as ways for the company to improve its systems and processes.

It's not all work for the Avida employees, however, as wellness programs enable them to strike the balance between work and life. Avida has special interest clubs, an annual health fair, sports fests, family-oriented activities and corporate social responsibility programs. Avida wants to create the best possible work environment for its employees to enjoy working in the company motivate them to assume higher levels of responsibility within the organization in the future.

Providing Homes To Overseas Filipinos

Since the company's inception, Avida has always had Filipinos and their families in mind. The property firm bravely looked outward, taking the initial step in selling its property developments to overseas Filipino workers.

In 1998, LPHI opened its first representative office in Milan to help OFWs in Italy and the rest of Europe realize their dream of providing homes for their loved ones in the Philippines.

More representative offices were opened in Singapore in 2003, and in Dubai in 2005.

Buyers in the United States were also served by the firm's growing army of accredited sales agents. Corporate road shows followed where the Filipinos were - Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, among many other countries.

Uplifting The Lives Of More Filipinos

Avida continuously nurtures among its sales force the value of hard work, dedication and passion to provide homes to Filipinos. The sales force numbers to about 2,400 as of end 2010. Several training modules designed to enhance selling and entrepreneurial skills and aimed at increasing their personal economic potential are in place. The idea is for Avida's sales force to build a strong partnership and to develop a deeper sense of pride working for the company. It has already become very common to hear sellers talk about their more than 20 years of selling/service with Avida and how their families' lives were shaped and nurtured over time. In fact, they themselves have become owners of homes in several Avida communities.

This deeper sense of commitment pervades among all of our sellers housed in different group channels. Avida Sales Corp., a sales company formed by Avida in early 2005, with a total of 1,300 sellers, now accounts for about half of the company's sales year on year. Dedicated broker groups have continuously shown loyalty to the company as it remained committed to sell only for Avida, while the Corporate Sales group remained steadfast in growing its clientele by effectively tapping workers in organizations and corporations.

To provide leasing services to our OFW and investor market who may need help in renting out their units, and realizing rental income from their property investment, Avida also established its leasing operations, under Avida Leasing Corp. in 2009.

Life As It Should Be Lived

It's all about worry-free living as each Avida residential unit and community is well cared for by the Ayala Property Management Corp., the same firm that expertly oversees all ALI developments such as the malls and the higher-end property developments. This ensures that each home is well-protected and each community is well-maintained to preserve the value of each homeowner's investment.

No doubt, the coming years will see Avida marching forward into regions and markets that remain underserved, and continuing to offer innovative designs that will transform houses into homes, and communities into peaceful environments where homeowners can always get a good night's sleep.

What great reasons to celebrate life!

Brand Promise

The brand promise of Avida stems from the brand promise of the parent company, Ayala Land, which is "Enhancing Land, Enriching Lives."

Avida focuses on enriching the lives of the hardworking middle class by offering their families a home to be proud of one that is nestled in a peaceful and safe community, accessible to public transportation, beautifully and practically designed, and one that will prove reliable performance over time.

Accessibility Location is one of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a new home. Since Avida developments are highly accessible via available public transport systems, you and your family can benefit from reduced travel time to schools, churches, hospitals, commercial centers and business hubs. With everything within your reach, the time typically spent in traffic can be translated to more valuable quality time with your loved ones.

Unique Features and Amenities Avida offers a variety of refreshing house designs and a wide selection of practical lot cuts. Innovative and stylish condominiums in Avida Towers, American East Coast seaside houses in Avida Residences San Fernando and Avida Settings Cavite, and American suburban houses in Avida Residences San Isidro-these are just few of the homes that Avida offers.

Homes are spacious, naturally illuminated and at the same time energy-efficient. Outdoors, you and your family can take time to enjoy the scenery. Activity areas and best-in-class amenities are but a few of Avida standard community developments.

Quality Assurance To ensure the long-term value of your investment, all aspects of our technical planning and construction undergo stringent quality controls. Structural designs are accomplished by highly experienced engineers.

Avida goes one step further by giving you the opportunity to check every nook and cranny of your new home before it is officially turned over. Coupled with a diligent title trace back service, you can put your mind at ease. Of course, apart from topnotch quality, Avida is highly committed to the prompt delivery of all projects according to specifications.

Stress-free Buying Experience We believe that our customers' buying experience is an integral part of our value proposition. With pre-arranged financing facilities through accredited banks, we offer a variety of financing schemes to help ease the burden of purchasing a new home. We make sure that site visits are as informative and as relaxing as possible. Our brokers and employees adhere to strict ethical standards, while our dedicated customer hotline is readily available to address all your concerns. Our growing list of local and international offices is our way of reaching out to all our clients, wherever they are.

Relaxing Living Experience Thanks to Avida's guarantee of 24/7/365 security, you always get a good night's sleep. With amenities like swimming pools, basketball courts, clubhouses and landscaped parks, your family weekends will always be fun-filled and exciting.

Property maintenance is the key to protecting the value of your investment. With strong Village Management support, your home, as well as your community's amenities, will always remain in top shape.

With the expertise of Ayala Property Management Corporation (APMC), the same group that handles all Ayala Land developments, you will never have to worry about problems related to utilities and services like garbage disposal ever again.

Through these 5 pillars and the full support of AyalaLand, Avida delivers secure homes in well-planned communities.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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