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RFM posts record net profit of P908M

Food and beverage company RFM Corporation reported a 9 percent improvement in net income to an all-time high of P908.4 million last year. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, RFM said this was achieved on the back of P12.2 billion in sales revenues, up by 11 percent over the revenues posted for the same period last year. It was also the highest sales level posted so far by the company, which has been consistently growing in sales and income over the past years. RFM president Jose A. Concepcion III said that sales continued to come in strong especially for its consumer branded businesses like its pasta and ice cream units. For pasta, both Fiesta and Royal brands posted record growth rates and new high levels, growing double digits, faster than the single-digit …

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Pryce almost doubles profit as LPG price drops

Pryce Corporation almost doubled its unaudited, consolidated net income to P586.3 million last year, up 98 percent from the P296.9 million earned in 2014 despite a drop in revenues. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said consolidated revenues declined 9 percent to P6.381 billion in 2015 from R5.86 billion in the previous year due mainly to the roughly 40 percent fall in liquefied petroleum gas prices last year. “Consolidated revenues managed to hold largely due to the remarkable growth of 29 percent in subsidiary’s PRYCEGAS brand liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales volume from 113,000 metric tons (MT) in 2014 to 146,000 MT in 2015,” Pryce said. This volume surge parried the negative effects of the continued fall in the world price of LPG and the absence of non-recurring income …

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China manufacturing index falls to 3-yr low

Beijing – Manufacturing activity in China contracted at its fastest level in more than three years in January, government data showed Monday, underlining weakness in the world’s second-largest economy. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks activity in factories and workshops, fell to 49.4, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. It was the lowest figure since 49.2 in August, 2012, and was below the median forecast of 49.6 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. PMI readings above 50 signal expanding activity, while anything below indicates shrinkage, and investors watch the figures closely as the first available indicators of the country’s economic health each month. It was the sixth consecutive month that the official index showed contraction, which Bloomberg said was the longest such series on record. ‘’The manufacturing sector will likely …

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Samsung Life Insurance to buy stake in Samsung Card from Samsung Electronics

By Song Sung-hoon, Han Woo-ram (Maeil Business News Korea) Samsung Life Insurance Co., South Korea’s largest life insurer, will acquire a stake in Samsung Card Co. from Samsung Electronics Co., a move that could lay the groundwork for the insurer to transform into a financial holding company of the Samsung Group as it allows the insurer to become the majority shareholder of the credit card company. Samsung Life Insurance said its board decided to purchase a 37.45 percent stake, or 4.34 million shares, in Samsung Card from Samsung Electronics for 1.54 trillion won ($1.27 billion), or 35,500 won per share. That is 1.42 percent higher than Samsung Card’s closing price of 35,000 won on Thursday. With the transaction, Samsung Life Insurance’s holding in Samsung Card will increase to 71.86 percent. Other shares are …

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Basic Energy withdraws 4 hydro service contracts

Publicly listed Basic Energy Corporation (BEC) has pulled out from the four service hydro service contracts that were previously awarded to it by the Department of Energy (DOE). These are for the prospects in Puntian 1 and Puntian 2, Malogo 2 and Talabaan in Negros Occidental. “The move is in support of efforts to streamline its renewable projects and concentrate resources on its geothermal service contracts and other projects in the pipeline,” the company has explained. It qualified though that “the four hydropower service contracts showed promise based on initial studies.” Nevertheless, it qualified that their geothermal ventures “provide greater potential,” and the company is also more enthusiastic on projects that have “faster turnaround time”, including solar energy. On a more positive note, drilling for the first well of the planned 60-megawatt geothermal project will …

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Oil prices fell in Asia due to glut concerns

Singapore – Crude oil prices fell in Asia trade Thursday as the market shifted attention back to oversupply concerns, after prices were briefly supported by speculation that large producers may be inching closer to a collective cut. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in March traded at $31.98 a barrel at 0259 GMT, down $0.32 in the Globex electronic session. March Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.32 to $32.78 a barrel. Oil prices rose overnight, buoyed by news that Russia and Saudi Arabia may consider discussing a cut in current output. However, a Kremlin spokesman later said Russian oil officials hold frequent talks with their foreign counterparts, but it was too early to talk about any coordinated actions, state news agencies reported. “At this …

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Manulife introduces US dollar fund

Manulife Philippines launched a new investment fund that promises customers the opportunity to optimize the potential returns of their foreign currency insurance investments. In a statement, Ryan Charland, Manulife Philippines president and chief executive, announced their new product, the USD Global Target Income Fund, that invests in a diversified portfolio, covering global equities, bonds, and other assets. According to Charland, the new Manulife product targets to deliver a higher US dollar payout rate per annum than the usual US dollar time deposits. He also said that USD Global Target Income Fund is designed to weather market seasonality to achieve the most favorable balance of income and capital growth through dynamic asset allocation across a diverse range of asset classes and geographies. “We are always on the lookout to bring our customers the best return …

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Int’l hotel operator to bring in 4 global hospitality brands

Plateno Group, the seventh largest hotel management company in the world, has began its expansion in the Philippines, with plans to bring four of its international hotel brands into the country as it banks on the growth of the local tourism sector and the growing desire of millennials across the globe to travel here. With presence in 55 countries, Plateno Group is also the leading hotel operator in Asia, managing around 340,000 hotel rooms across the globe with 18 international brands. Kevin Wallace, Plateno Group managing director for South East Asia and Australasia, said on Wednesday that over the next four years, the company intends to build 20 hotels in different parts of the country. These hotels, according to him, will be built across four of the company’s 18 brands, covering all segments …

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Ayala experiments with family clinic concept

Ayala Corporation, through wholly-owned subsidiary Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc., is experimenting with a family clinic cum pharmacy and convenience store concept which could translate into a P700-million investment if successful. In an interview, Ayala Corporate Strategy and Development group head Paolo Borromeo said they have already opened two pilot branches of the clinic called FamilyDoc in Las Piñas and Imus in Cavite last December. Borromeo said the new concept is being developed with Generika which is now 50 percent owned by Ayala Corporation. “We put up Ayala Health to house Generika and then we also created a new business which we are experimenting on which we call retail clinics under the brand FamilyDoc,” said Borromeo. He stressed that the business is in its “very early stage,” based on similar models from the US, India …

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ADB to double private sector investments

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to double its private sector investment portfolio by 2020 to support the growth of developing nations in the region, including the Philippines. In a statement, Takehiko Nakao, ADB president, said the Manila-based lender will “substantially expand” its private sector financing and investment operations to meet the rapidly changing needs of Asian countries. “ADB believes that the private sector is a key engine of growth in developing Asia and a critical partner in alleviating poverty,” Nakao said. In 2015, ADB approved a record $2.6 billion of new financing and investments for the private sector, higher by 37 percent from a year earlier and 62 percent more than in 2013. To date, ADB’s private sector investment portfolio amounted to over $8 billion, and it expects that the bank’s private sector …

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