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PHL's T-bond rate up on high demand

Published in Business

MANILA — Rate of the Philippines’ three-year Treasury bond (T-bond) rose but the Bureau of the Treasury’s (BTr) auction committee made a full award on the back of strong demand for the debt paper.


It averaged at 4.632 percent, up from 4.256 percent during the auction last Jan. 23 but lower than the 5.2625 percent in the secondary market after the morning session on Tuesday.


BTr offered it for P10 billion and banks submitted a total of P20.006 billion worth of bids.


National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said during the auction that they made a full award because the three-year paper seems to be “a happy spot for the market”.


She, however, noted that “inflation continues to be a persistent and a nagging concern for the market”.


In the first two months this year, rate of price increases averaged at 3.7 percent on the rebased 2012 index, within the government’s 2 percent to 4 percent target for 2017-2019.


However, the figure last February registered a big jump to 3.9 percent, the highest since September 2014, from the previous month’s 3.4 percent on account of faster inflation rate of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index as well as the double-digit rise of the alcoholic beverages and tobacco index in line with the hike in sin taxes.

De Leon said the hike of debt papers’ rates in the past months can be attributed partly to concerns on the path of interest rates in the US as well as in the domestic market due to inflation developments, among others.

BTr will have weekly auctions for both the T-bonds and Treasury bills (T-bills) in the second quarter of this year unlike in the past quarter wherein it was held twice a month.


De Leon said this “leaves more room for us to accept” bids and more leeway for banks to offer more meaningful bids instead of offering bids that would be turned down by the auction committee because of high rates.

Celine Dion to go on with first Manila concert

Published in Entertainment

Photo from Instagram | @celinediion


Yes, Virginia, famous singer Celine Dion is performing in a concert in the Philippines on July 19.


Venue of the Celine Dion’s first concert dubbed Live 2018 Tour in Manila is the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.


The singer herself confirmed her show in the Philippines in her Facebook post.


Her promoter in Manila, the Ovation Productions, later also confirmed Celine’s Facebook announcement.


The appearance of the five-time Grammy winner was earlier in peril after the singer cancelled her March and April shows in Las Vegas, Nevada due to certain ailment.


With her announcement, fans of the singer were once again enlivened by the thought that they would be able to see their favourite singer in person soon.


The singer made the post on her 50th birthday last March 30.


“Happy 50th birthday to the legendary Celine Dion. Manila is more than thrilled to see you in July for the very first time,” Ovation Productions wrote.


In her post, Celine thanked her fans for sharing the milestone with her.


“Dear friends, I want to thank you all for the wonderful birthday messages and videos. They touched me deeply. I celebrated this day surrounded by family, while feeling the spirit of your presence. Thank you for your love and support and for being such a big part of my life for all these years,” the Canadian singer wrote in French, translated in English for her fans worldwide.


In the letter, the singer hinted that she is still not 100 percent well. “I can’t wait to get back to being 100% and see you all again!” she wrote.


In a Facebook post earlier, Celine said: “Hello Manila! This is Celine Dion and I’m coming to sing to you for the very first time in my whole life!”


On March 22, Celine’s team announced in her Facebook page that she is cancelling her March and April shows in Vegas due to a middle ear condition.


“We regret to inform you that the performances of Céline at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace scheduled for March 27 through April 18 have been cancelled. Céline has been dealing with a condition in her middle ear known as Patulous Eustachian tube, which causes hearing irregularities, and makes it extremely difficult to sing,” the singer’s team explained.


According to the post, the singer has been experiencing this condition for the past 12 to 18 months, but it has been successfully treated with various ear drop medications.


“During the past couple of weeks these medications have no longer been working to treat the condition, so she will undergo a minimally invasive surgical procedure to correct the problem,” the team added.


“My luck hasn’t been very good lately... I’ve been so looking forward to doing my shows again and this happens…. I just can’t believe it! I apologize to everyone who planned to travel to Las Vegas to see my show. I know how disappointing this is, and I’m so sorry,” Celine said in the same post.


She is expected to resume performances at The Colosseum as scheduled on May 22. Ticket holders for the cancelled performances have been granted refunds through cash and credit card.


Filipino fans feared Celine would cancel her Manila show as well. But just like the lyrics of her popular “Titanic” soundtrack goes, the show will go on.

MANILA — The Villar group of companies is considering entering into gaming to complement its extensive infrastructure and property development ventures, as it rides on the growth of the Philippine economy.


Paolo Villar, head of the group’s listed real estate firm Vista Land & Lifespaces Inc., expressed keen interest in airport projects and infrastructure, particularly for telecommunications and power sectors.


Villar said they expect to submit unsolicited proposals to improve infrastructure in the country.


“We are definitely looking at the infrastructure sector and definitely we have some projects in minds,” he said.


Villar said the group has various developments across the country which can utilize telecommunications-related infrastructure.


He noted the gaming sector also provides huge business opportunities, noting “for responsible gaming, there's a market for that and the Villar group has real estate assets. It’s good for the country.”


“We're very optimistic about the Philippines. We're going to put money where our mouth is. We are expecting growth,” he added.


The group is currently engaged in real estate, property leasing, retail, education and health businesses.

PHL aerospace industry urged to capture global demand

Published in Business

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga — The country’s aerospace industry is urged to take advantage of the robust global demand through enhanced investments, which in turn will create more jobs here.


During the press launch of the Aeromart Summit Clark - Philippines here last week, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the rising demand for aircraft parts as well as aircraft maintenance and repair operations (MRO) in the Asia Pacific region, presents fresh opportunities to the local aerospace industry.


Lopez cited a report of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that air passengers coming in and going out of Asia Pacific is expected at 3.5 billion by 2036, which is larger than the combined number of North America and Europe.


He added that to meet the demand in the region, some 16,000 aircrafts will be needed at the cost of about US$2.5 trillion.


“The country, being a regional aerospace [and] aviation hub, can take advantage of this unprecedented demand. The opportunities and possibilities here are tremendous. As a strategic gateway, the Philippines can bridge manufacturing and servicing on both sides of the Pacific. We could also gain from Europe looking towards Asia for growth and expansion," the trade chief said.


He noted that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has identified the aerospace industry as one of the 12 key sectors in the country that Filipinos have comparative advantage in.


Aerospace Industries Association of the Philippines (AIAP) Chairman John Lee echoed that the growth of the local aerospace industry is coming from the robust global demand.


Lee added that about 35 percent of the aircraft demand will come from ASEAN. He said there is also a need to increase human resources in the aerospace industry to meet the sector’s demand.


The private sector official mentioned that one aerospace firm is needing 18,000 aviation mechanics within ASEAN to boost its operation.


The first edition of Aeromart Summit Clark – Philippines will be held from June 4 to 6, 2018 at the Widus Hotel and Casino.


The summit, supported by the DTI, the Aerospace Industries Association of the Philippines (AIAP), the Department of Transportation, Clark Development Corp., and the Clark International Airport Corp. is seen to gather at least 100 original equipment manufacturers, MRO companies, and airlines from 15 countries. About 1,000 business-to-business meetings were expected to take place during the summit.


Meanwhile, the local facility of aircraft parts manufacturer Moog, Inc. is eyeing to boost its output in the Philippines due to the rapid growth of the aerospace industry.


Moog Controls Corp. General Manager Damien Damperon said the company’s plant in Baguio aims to increase its production capacity that would involve hiring of more workers.


“This is due to the sheer growth of the market. One thing that you may or may not know is that both Boeing and Airbus are trying to speed up their supply chain to, basically, faster rate,” Damperon said. “And this is calling for the whole industry to speed up (output).”


Last week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the aerospace industry grew 40 percent last year.


Lopez added that in Asia Pacific alone, some 16,000 aircrafts, amounting to US$2.5 trillion, are needed to meet the growing flow of passengers to and from the region reaching to 3.5 billion by 2036.


“The industry is moving very very fast because the demand is growing incredible, especially in Asia. So, the whole industry has to invest and recruit and to train at the same time, to provide very good quality product because it’s safety-related and people-related,” said Damperon.


“Right now, we’re trying to develop as much as we can our lean capability, our lean manufacturing,” he added, noting that Moog Philippines aims to get a “stable number of people” to be “capable of getting more output”.


Damperon said from 18 employees since the American company established its facility in a 7.5-hectare land in Baguio, Moog now has 1,400 personnel. (Kris Crismundo)


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