Philippine Daily Inquirer (January 22, 2018)

PARIS, France — The world’s richest one percent raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none, Oxfam said Monday, as the world’s elite prepared to mingle at the World Economic Forum in Davos

BusinessMirror (January 18, 2018)

VEHICLE SALES growth in the country slowed last year from 2016, but 2017 still saw an increase of nearly a fifth, sustaining the annual double-digit pace the domestic auto industry has been clocking since 2012. 

Data jointly released yesterday by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed the groups’ member companies sold 425,673 vehicles last year, up 18.4% from 359,572 units in 2016.

INQUIRER.NET (January 17, 2018)

To avoid paying heftier taxes under the first package of the tax reform program, three beverage companies are reformulating their soft drinks mix to avoid paying a heftier tax. 

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law imposed taxes on sweetened beverages. Those using sugar are slapped a lower rate of P6 per liter while those using high fructouse corn syrup (HFCS) are taxed P12 per liter. These cover energy drinks, powdered juice drinks and soft drinks. Pepsi Cola Products Philippines Inc. earlier announced it was shifting to using 100 percent sugar in its products from the previous mix of 60 percent sugar and 40 percent HFCS. 

Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines Inc. and RC Cola Philippines have followed suit, according to members of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) board.

INQUIRER.NET (January 18, 2018)

The Philippines is to seal within the current quarter a loan deal for the initial funding for the Metro Manila Subway Project along with the agreement for the Plaridel Bypass Road in Bulacan, both of which are financed by Japan. 

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the contract for the initial tranche of the 104.5-billion yen ($929.1 million at current exchange rates) loan for the first phase of the subway project and the 9.399-billion yen ($89 million) loan accord for the third phase of the Plaridel Bypass Road Project in Bulacan could be signed by the last week of January.

INQUIRER.NET (January 11, 2018)

The World Bank expects the Philippines to sustain robust economic growth in the next three years even as public investments are seen slowing down. 

“The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), despite some stabilization of investment growth,” the Washington-based multilateral lender said in its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects report released Wednesday morning (Philippine time). 

The World Bank projected the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 6.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, before slightly slowing to 6.5 percent in 2020. 

The World Bank’s forecasts for the next three years were nonetheless below the government’s target range of 7-8 percent annual GDP growth from 2018 to 2022.

The Manila Times (January 18, 2018)

Philippine economic growth will remain steady, HSBC said, given continued robust private consumption and expectations of a moderate monetary policy tightening.Cheuk Wan Fan, head of investment strategy for Asia at HSBC Private Bank, said in a briefing on Wednesday that they expected the Philippines to grow by 6.7 percent this year before accelerating to 6.8 percent in 2019.The government has a 7.0-8.0 percent target for both years. 

Fan also said that HSBC had a “neutral view” on Philippine equities as “ high remittances and strong investments support robust economic growth and steady earnings performance.”