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Japanese firm to import $220-M bananas yearly

Tokyo, Japan — A leading Japanese fruit distribution company is keen on importing an additional $220 million worth of bananas from the Philippines yearly starting next year. The agreement tapping Filipino farmers and rebel-returnees in Mindanao to supply 20 million boxes of bananas to Farmind Corporation will be forged during President Duterte’s visit to Tokyo. The President arrived in Japan on Tuesday for a three-day official visit to Japan to enhance the country’s economic and defense relations with the strategic partner in the region. “We will sign a MOU (memorandum of understanding) tomorrow (Wednesday) with your government and that to assist this rebel returnees, providing them opportunities to come to this market,” Tatsuo Horiuchi, Farmind President and CEO, said in a media interview here on Tuesday. “We’re taking about 20 million boxes as a …

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SMC unit MNHPI gets SEC approval for capital increase

Port terminal company Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI), which is already majority-owned by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), got the regulatory approval to proceed with its plan to increase its capital despite complaints from Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc. (HCPTI). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently came out with a decision junking the complaint filed by HPCTI against the other owners of MNHPI, which are Harbour Centre Port Holdings, Inc. and Petron Corp. The complaint was seeking to nullify the increase in capital stock of MNHPI, which was also included in HCPTI's pending case in the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 wherein one of the latter's stakeholders still claims ownership in MNHPI. SEC ruled that its Company Registration and Monitoring Department did not violate any rules when it approved the increase …

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Business calls for national dialogue to craft a ‘strategic’ foreign policy

The Makati Business Club (MBC), which groups most of the country’s largest conglomerates, yesterday said it welcomed the Duterte administration’s efforts to rebuild relationships with China but stressed the need to conduct a multi-sectoral dialogue as the government recalibrates a new foreign policy even as it warned it cannot just dismiss the invaluable support of the United States. “We support the drive for an independent foreign policy, particularly during this time when the Philippines has gained international respect, recognition and confidence over the past few years,” according to the MBC statement. But the MBC also stressed that as the country “transitions through this recalibration in our foreign policy, we call on the government to initiate another multi-sectoral dialogue similar to when it drafted the 10-point socio-economic agenda.” The MBC has urged government to …

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News in brief October 26, 2016

P/$ rate closes at P48.34/$1 The peso closed  lower  at P48.34  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from  P48.19 the previous day.   The weighted average rate depreciated to P48.317 from  P48.294. The total volume amounted to $500.5 million.   Local shares slightly lower Local shares closed slightly lower again yesterday for lack of market-moving developments even as regional stock markets recovered to track overnight gains in Wall Street. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished 29.09 points or 0.38 percent lower at 7,780.22. Volume of trading recovered somewhat with 1.91 billion shares valued at P6.54 billion changing hands. However, gainers  topped decliners, 97-82, with 49 issues unchanged.   Trust industry resources total P2.8 trillion The trust industry had total resources of P2.8 trillion as of end-June, up almost …

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Removal of gift certificate expiry proposed

Effectivity of gift certificates paid for by customers should be open ended, a Quezon City lawmaker insists. Rep. Winston Castelo filed House Bill 3091, which seeks to end the practice of imposing expiry dates for gift checks by department stores and supermarkets, saying it constitutes unfair trade. Now commonly used as Christmas presents, gift certificates are usually purchased from shopping malls, restaurants or supermarkets and paid for in cash. “It is purchased with money and money having no expiry dates, it follows that in the case of gift certificate, check or card, the same must bear no expiry date at all,” Castelo said. The lawmaker also said it makes no business sense for suppliers of gift checks to place an expiry date over what amounts to cash. “If the reason is the risk of such certificates …

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Tuesday markets: Peso-dollar rate at P48.34; stocks down

The peso and stock market both ended lower Tuesday, October 25. The Philippine peso–US dollar exchange rate at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation (PDEX) closed at P48.34, weaker than Monday’s (October 24) rate at P48.19. At the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reference exchange rate bulletin, the exchange rate was pegged at P48.29 to the greenback. Likewise, the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) shed 29.09 points (0.38%) to close at 7,580.22. The all-shares index also slipped by 7.86 points (0.18%) at 4,491.09.

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3 Japanese firms bare PH investment plans

Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi met with top executives of three Japanese companies to tackle their proposed business plans in the country. “They see that our president really means what he says. They believe that the president would move the country forward so by making the reforms that is necessary to encourage them to relocate such as eliminating red tape, corruption,” Cusi said in a media interview in Tokyo. Japan’s Osaka Gas is looking into possible establishment of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation project somewhere in Luzon and Mindanao, according to Cusi. The project would cost “billions of dollars,” he added. Another Japanese firm, Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing, is also considering the construction of a wire road manufacturing plant in the Philippines. The energy department has also …

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CIAC, Qatar Airways agree to market Clark airport

The Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) and Qatar Airways have agreed to market the Clark International Airport (CRK), with the airlines laying down expansion plans to target upscale travelers going to destinations in Europe, the U.S. and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement to utilize the Clark airport as an international gateway as a move to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said Monday that among the benefits from the recent trip of the president to China is the increase in flights through the CRK. Officials of CIAC led by its president and CEO Alexander Cauguiran met Monday with Qatar Airlines country manager Paolo Pausini on further cooperation and strengthened partnership in developing and making CRK more active. Qatar Airways …

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Tata stocks fall after chairman Mistry ousted

Shares in Tata Sons companies fell in early trade on Tuesday after India's biggest conglomerate shocked the Indian business world and abruptly sacked its chairman Cyrus Mistry. In a statement Tata Sons, the holding company of the massive $100 billion Tata Group, said Monday its board had voted to replace Mistry, four years after he became its first chief from outside the immediate Tata family. It added that 78-year-old Ratan Tata, one of India's most famous industrialists, would return to the helm of the company until a successor is found, which would likely to take four months. Shortly after the Bombay Stock Exchange opened Tata Steel sank 2.89 percent, car manufacturing giant Tata Motors fell 1.17 percent and IT giant Tata Consultancy Services was down 0.75 percent. The announcement came as Tata Steel struggles to offload …

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Judge faces deadline on $15B Volkswagen emissions deal

SAN FRANCISCO  — A federal judge in San Francisco is facing a Tuesday deadline to decide whether to approve the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history, giving most affected Volkswagen owners the option for a vehicle buyback after the company acknowledged cheating on emissions testing and putting dirty cars on the road. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said at a hearing last week that he was strongly inclined to give the nearly $15 billion deal final approval but wanted time to consider owners' objections and decide whether he should recommend any changes. Breyer gave preliminary approval in July. It calls for the German automaker to spend up to $10 billion to buy back or repair about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2-liter diesel engines and pay their owners an additional $5,100 …

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