Elections in the Philippines are said to be decided by three Gs: guns, gold and goons. In a few cases, luck must be added into the equation.
When two candidates for mayor of San Teodoro, a small town in central Philippines, each got exactly the same number of votes (3,236) in a poll this week, election officials decided to break the tie by tossing a coin. Continue reading »
Millions of Filipinos headed for voting booths on Monday to choose candidates for 18,054 local and national government posts in a generally peaceful election that polling groups and analysts say will likely tighten president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s grip on the legislature.
Aides to Aquino (pictured) say having allies and supporters in both houses of Congress is critical for a continuation of the president’s anti-corruption and anti-poverty reforms as he enters the second half of his single six-year term that ends in the middle of 2016. Continue reading »
Like many management buzz words, corporate social responsibility has come to mean many things to many people. But if a bit of business do-gooding is required by the authorities as a condition, say, for granting a local government permit, is it still CSR? Continue reading »
The top emerging stock markets over the past two years were the Philippines and Thailand. Denise Law, director of financial research at the FT’s newly launched Asean Confidential service, discusses with Long View columnist John Authers what’s driving southeast Asian stocks and what risks and opportunities lie ahead.
Investors do love an emerging market success story.
A day after LT Group, the listed holding company of Lucio Tan, the Philippines’ second richest man, raised 37.7bn pesos ($920m) from a follow-on offering, its shares have risen 4 per cent. Continue reading »
Philippine exports in February fell 15.6 per cent from a year earlier to their lowest level in 14 months, after falling 2.7 per cent the previous month as demand for the country’s main shipments of semiconductor chips and electronics devices has slumped.
The sharp fall in exports suggests the Philippines will struggle to meet the government’s GDP growth target of 6 to 7 per cent for 2013 after last year’s robust expansion of 6.6 per cent, the highest among south-east Asia’s five biggest economies. Continue reading »
On Wednesday, the Department of Energy warned it may cancel the exploration contract of a consortium led by BHP Billiton Petroleum for an oil and gas block off Palawan island in the western Philippines due to delays in drilling an offshore exploration well. It’s hardly a move to reassure investors. Continue reading »
The news will be music to the ears of reformist finance minister Cesar Purisima (pictured) who told FT journalists this week: “Good governance is good economics. I think we have shown that.”
Manila will now hope either Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s also lifts the country to investment grade as two such ratings are needed for many fund managers to invest in a country’s bonds. It may not be a long wait. Continue reading »
San Miguel Corp, the increasingly diversified Philippine conglomerate, surprised on the upside on Thursday by announcing consolidated net income in 2012 of 27.6bn pesos ($677m), up 57 per cent on 2011 and exceeding analysts’ expectations.
It is easy to take the figure as another sign of the success of San Miguel’s daring diversification strategy, in which the 122 year old company has expanded rapidly from its core food and drinks business to take in fuel, power and infrastructure. Continue reading »
Foreign direct investment into the Asean countries has risen strongly in the past few years and is now on a par with FDI into China. As Hak Bin Chua, Asean economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch writes in a report on Friday, this “is in sharp contrast to a decade ago, when there were widespread fears that Asean would be marginalised by China’s rise.”
The change is partly a result of political issues such as recent territorial tensions between Japan and China which are diverting some Japanese investment south. But is is also driven by social and economic factors such as demographics that will not change direction any time soon. Continue reading »
Electronics companies need strong nerves in the face of the industry’s inherent volatility. Analysts had expected the Philippines to see a solid gain of around 6 per cent in exports in January. In the event, Manila on Tuesday posted a 2.7 per cent decline – thanks largely to a 32 per cent plunge in electronics shipments.
The next few months should be better, given the signs of recovery in the US. But the unpredictability of the markets make life tough for the electronics groups and their suppliers. Continue reading »
For hard-pressed exporters the developments are clearly negative. But for China as a whole they should be positive -with millions of workers earnings more pay and creating a growing consumer market – as long as the transition is managed properly. Continue reading »
Clashes between Malaysian security forces and the followers of a Philippine Muslim royal family leader trying to reclaim Sabah have been confined so far to two remote districts in North Borneo but the economic side effects of the conflict are already evident in the Philippines’ southernmost province, Tawi-Tawi. Continue reading »
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