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Lee C. Chipongian

BSP includes renminbi in GIR

With a Duterte government leaning towards China as source of trade and investments, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. yesterday said the Chinese renminbi (RMB) is now one of the official currencies of the country’s gross international reserves (GIR). Tetangco announced yesterday that the Monetary Board, BSP’s policy-making body, approved the inclusion of RMB in the GIR to make it readily available to the banking system. The GIR is primarily in US dollars but also includes other currencies such as the Japanese yen in smaller portions. Amando M. Tetangco Jr. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently included the RMB as part of its special drawing rights (SDR) list of currencies, the fifth in the SDR basket which is in US dollar, Japanese yen, the euro and the British pound. (Renminbi …

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Banks pledge fund support to agri sector

The banking industry vowed support to the agricultural sector by efficiently complying with the mandatory requirement of setting aside 25 percent of banks’ loanable funds to the sector as well as shore up state banks’ efforts to raise funds for agri-related projects. In a statement, Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) managing director Cesar Virtusio said while banks are willing to fund the development of the agricultural sector, the government and private sector will have to first address its absorptive capacity for these bank funds. “The (agri) sector may not have enough capacity to absorb the amount of funds that the banks are mandated to lend to the farmers,” said Virtusio. Of the 25 percent mandated by law, 10 percent is set aside for Agrarian reform borrowers and 15 percent for agricultural …

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2016 inflation still seen at 2% or lower – economists

Inflation rate will hardly change from general consensus of closing the year at a flat two percent or slightly below this level, economists said. In its latest report, the Metrobank unit First Metro Investment Corp.-University of Asia and the Pacific (FMIC-UA&P) said there was “no special reason for inflation to veer away from the low two percent levels for the rest of the year.” The average inflation was 1.6 percent as of September. For October, FMIC-UA&P economists said they see steady inflation rate of 2.3 percent, the same level in September. The rate will likely decline to 2.1 percent by November and a flat two percent by December, the report added. “While headline inflation hit a 16-month high of 2.3 percent in September, year-to-date it remained calm at 1.6 percent,” FMIC-UA&P noted. “Bad weather …

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BSP reverses losses, earns P10.4 B in first 8 months

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported an income of P10.40 billion as of end-August, reversing P1.78 billion worth of losses in the same period in 2015. Based on its latest and unaudited financial statement, BSP revenues rose by 32.2 percent to P51.58 billion from end-August 2015’s P39 billion. Interest income totaled P31.22 billion which was higher than P24.67 billion last year. Expenses continued to decrease or by 3.2 percent during the period from P47.52 billion to P46 billion. Interest expenses also dropped to P29.82 billion from same time in 2015 of P32.55 billion. The BSP also registered foreign exchange gains of P4.82 billion, lower compared to last year’s P6.73 billion as exchange rate fluctuations coming from BSP’s foreign currency transactions such as foreign exchange investments, servicing of maturing obligations and derivatives likewise …

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BOP surplus hits 9-month high

The domestic economy made more money from overseas transactions than what spent for imports with balance of payments (BOP) reaching $1.648 billion as of end-September, the highest this year so far. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) estimates BOP surplus will close at end-2016 with $2 billion. Last year, the BOP was in excess of $2.6 billion. The BOP position is the difference between the amount of money that comes in and the cash the economy spends overseas. The surplus position usually improves because of BSP’s foreign exchange operations and foreign exchange deposits of the National Government to the BSP. For the month of September, the BOP surplus stood at $117 million which was lower compared to August’s $682 million. The current month’s BOP position is the lowest surplus number on a monthly basis, …

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BSP ups TDF auction size to P130 B

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has raised its weekly term deposit facility (TDF) auction by another P20 billion to P130 billion starting on November 2. This will be the fifth time that the auction size has been increased because of liquidity demand from the market. BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. yesterday said the TDF, which is always oversubscribed, have more room for “further adjustments.” “The bid to cover ratios have remained broadly unchanged, indicating there could be room for further adjustments in the auction sizes for future auctions,” said Tetangco. He added, “we continue to see good interest in the auction facilities (and) while the average rates have inched up for both the 7- and 28-day auctions, the increments have been minimal.” The BSP awarded P100 billion of 28-day term deposit and P10 …

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Old banknotes demonetization extended to March next year

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday announced that the old banknotes series which were taken out of circulation at the end of 2015 and scheduled for demonetization by December 31 this year can still be exchanged until March 2017. BSP said old banknotes known as New Design Series (NDS) held by authorized agent banks or deposited to these banks can still be exchanged until March 31 next year. Also all NDS notes inventoried by offices of municipal/city/provincial treasurers can still be exchanged until March next year. The deadline is also extended for the following: Overseas Filipinos can register up to R50,000 of their old banknotes on the website: https://orbs.bsp.gov.ph. Registration period is from October 1 to 31 December 2016. All NDS notes registered with the BSP can be exchanged within a year from the …

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Beyond real estate

The name “Leechiu” in the world of Philippine real estate is very familiar. For some circles – with over P100 billion in real estate value that he’s sold so far – it’s probably the only name to interact with when it comes to anything property-related, its services or management. David Leechiu was the chief of Leechiu & Associates and later the country head of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global real estate services company. He was a business partner of JLL, attaching his own name to the Philippine unit when he was on board. He’s higher up now. Established as top property consultant in the business, he’s got his own brand again as Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC). Probably the best thing he has ever done to date. Putting up his own property consulting …

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Remittances up 16.3% in August – BSP

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday reported that remittances from overseas Filipinos for the month of August went up by 16.3 percent to $2.32 billion versus $1.99 billion in the same month last year, bringing total remittances to $17.64 billion as of end-August, or 4.6 percent higher than the same eight-month period last year. The amount represents cash remittances or fund transfers transacted through the banking system and easily monitored by the BSP. For the first eight months, BSP Governor-in-Charge deputy governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. in a statement said cash remittances from land-based workers increased by 6.5 percent to $13.1 billion. Sea-based workers, on the other hand, had a lower amount during the period, dropping by 1.9 percent to $3.8 billion. Bulk of cash remittances or 80 percent were from overseas …

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BSP reviews foreign borrowing limit

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is reviewing the 2017 foreign borrowing limit for both the public and private sectors. The BSP is assessing next year’s ceiling based on corporates’ borrowing plans which were submitted to the central bank at the end of September. All banks, foreign parent companies and affiliates were instructed to disclose next year’s foreign borrowing plans. Resident entities borrow offshore via the issuance of bonds or securities in the international capital markets. The BSP makes it mandatory to submit such plans to monitor the “magnitude and timing” of foreign financing requirements which would help them in their capital flows projections and its implications on the economy. The BSP also wants to know the purpose – particularly the private sector’s – why they have to borrow from overseas. From the submissions of …

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