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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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Hanjin Shipping to wind down Europe business as demand slumps

Hanjin Shipping Co., South Korea’s largest container line that has already put its Asia-US business on sale after filing for bankruptcy protection late August, will wind down its European business as demand for its services on the Asia-Europe trade lane slumped. Hanjin will close all its 10 branches in Europe, including its regional headquarters in Germany, the container line’s spokeswoman said Monday. The Seoul-based company expects to start the process as early as this week after obtaining approval from the Seoul Central District Court, she said. The decision to shut down its Europe business is part of the breakup process of Hanjin kicked off by the Seoul court, which earlier said it would consider selling the company entirely. Hanjin is also seeking separate bids from shipping companies to buy its Asia-US network …

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The threats against globalization

Globalization may be described as the process of growing volumes and value of the trade of goods, services, and capital among counties and regional blocs under an open market system of price determination. Its basic philosophy is the belief that countries are better off in producing the goods and services where they have comparative advantage and importing needed goods and services from countries where those countries have the comparative advantage. "Under the ambit of "Free Trade" principles and market openness, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade among countries have been progressively brought down, if not totally eliminated. (For the interested reader, look up or "google" the principle of comparative advantage and David Ricardo, an early 19th century economist.). In simple terms, this explains why US, Western European and Japanese brands …

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Monday markets: Peso-dollar rate at P48.19; stocks lower

The trading week commenced with the peso and stock market in opposite directions Monday, October 24. The Philippine peso–US dollar exchange rate at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation (PDEX) closed at P48.19, stronger than Friday’s (October 21) rate at P48.33. At the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reference exchange rate bulletin, the exchange rate was pegged at P48.28 to the greenback. On the other hand, the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) lost 40.91 points (0.53%) to close at 7,609.31. The all-shares index also slipped by 19.16 points (0.42%) at 4,498.95.

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Investment firm, Chinese company to put up high-end cable company in PH

Investment firm MVP Global Infrastructure Group and Chinese conglomerate Tianjin Suli Cable Group Co. Ltd. is putting up a cable manufacturing enterprise in the Philippines.  The two companies signed an understanding agreement on October 19, 2016 in conjunction with President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China. MVP Global, also known as MVP, is focused on co-investing with large mainland Chinese companies in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines with over $1 billion. Its principals hold interests in real estate, food and beverage, steel, technology, telecoms, and construction. Tianjin Suli Cable Group Co. Ltd (also widely known as the Suli Group) is a state-owned high-technology company that is into manufacturing, research and development, logistics, finance and international trade. It is the first company to receive funding from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Under the terms of the …

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527 South Koreans to sue Samsung on Galaxy Note 7 recall

Hundreds of South Korean Galaxy Note 7 smartphone owners were preparing Monday to file a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics over the fire-prone device. Attorney Peter Young-Yeel Ko, head of the Harvest Law Firm said Monday that 527 consumers want Samsung to compensate them for the costs to visit shops to exchange their phones, for the hours they had to wait while transferring data and for psychological harm from using a hazardous product. His clients include a consumer who claims to have lost thousands of pictures from a family vacation and another who drove eight hours round-trip to return the phone. Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 phone because it tends to overheat. It recalled replacement Note 7s after finding they also were prone to catch fire, the company stopped making or selling them. The …

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Asia shares gain as Japan trade data better than forecast

Asian markets mostly rose Monday after the release of improved Japanese manufacturing and trade data that suggest activity is picking up in the world's third biggest economy. Looking ahead, attention is likely to focus this week on Friday's report of U.S. growth data. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.3 percent to 17,234.42 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4 percent to 23,481.02. The Shanghai Composite index gained 1.2 percent to 3,126.71 and South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.5 percent to 2,042.92. India's Sensex edged 0.1 percent higher to 28,114.23, while Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to 5,408.50. Markets in Southeast Asia and Taiwan were mostly higher. ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "The highlight of the week will no doubt come from US 3Q GDP," Chris Weston of IG said in a commentary. …

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Belgium has Monday to end EU-Canada deal impasse

BRUSSELS — If Belgium cannot break a deadlock over the European Union's landmark free trade deal with Canada by Monday night, EU leaders will consider canceling a signing ceremony scheduled for later in the week, two officials with knowledge of the negotiations said. The officials told The Associated Press on Sunday that EU leaders plan to have telephone talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about canceling the Thursday summit if Belgium's support for the deal isn't secured by the deadline. The officials asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the talks. The deal needs unanimity among the 28 EU nations, and Belgium needs unanimity among its regions. The francophone region of Wallonia, population 3.5 million, has been the lone holdout and refused to approve the trade pact. During the past week, …

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AT&T’s $85.4B deal for Time Warner: A new bet on synergy

NEW YORK — AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner represents a new bet on synergy between companies that distribute information and entertainment to consumers and those that produce it. The acquisition would combine a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and an internet service with the company behind HBO, CNN, and some of the world's most popular entertainment, including "Game of Thrones," the "Harry Potter" franchise and professional basketball. It's the latest big media acquisition by a major cable or phone company — such as Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBC Universal — and aimed at shoring up businesses upended by the internet. Regulators would have to sign off on the deal, no certain thing. The prospect of another media giant on the horizon has already drawn fire on …

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China busts group selling expired New Zealand milk powder

SHANGHAI -- Police in Shanghai have arrested 19 people suspected of repackaging more than 200 tons of expired New Zealand-made Fonterra milk powder to sell on the market. Shanghai's food safety regulatory and police announced on Sunday that the suspects, operating under Shanghai-registered trading firm Jiang Di International Trade Co., Ltd, repackaged 276 tons of expired milk powder into smaller portions and sold them online or through retailers in several provinces for enticing lower prices. Police were alerted in March after they discovered the repackaged products in a raid on a Shanghai retailer's warehouse. Subsequent raids confiscated 109.2 tons of the expired milk powder from Jiang Di's warehouse. The other 166.8 tons had been sold to retailers. Authorities said they were pursuing the dairy products in question that had entered the market and …

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