Canned sardines up for price increase, says DTI

PRICES of canned sardines will likely increase by as much as 6 percent next September due to higher fuel and fish prices, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Friday.

DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya told reporters at a briefing that four of the five manufacturers of sardines are planning to raise prices by P0.25 to P0.30.

One sardine brand, however, requested an increase of as much as P0.75, Maglaya said, raising the suggested retail price of sardines to P12.25 to P13.25 each. She did not name the brand.

Rising fuel and fish prices is the culprit for the impending increase, she stressed.

Fish, for example, which comprises 30 percent of manufacturers’ expenses, has risen by as much as 50 percent since March, according to the Trade Department.

Fitch keeps ADB’s “AAA” rating with stable outlook

FITCH Ratings in London said Friday excellent performance and improved quality of the loan portfolio were among the bases for affirming the Triple “A” rating of Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“The rating affirmation reflects the bank’s strong capitalization and conservative financial policies,” Fitch said in a statement.

“Impaired loans represented only 0.1% of the gross loan portfolio at end-2010 and are concentrated in the private sector and largely covered by provisions,” Fitch also said.

The global debt watcher noted how ADB lending operations “have grown at a rapid pace in recent years, with outstanding loans increasing by 10.0 percent in 2010″ maintaining the double-digit expansion from 16.4 percent in 2009.

Japan’s ANA to get world’s first Dreamliner Sept 25

TOKYO – Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and aviation giant Boeing said Friday the airline will receive the world’s first 787 Dreamliner on September 25, more than three years later than first planned.

The ANA plane will be delivered in Everett, Washington before being flown to Tokyo where it is scheduled to arrive on September 28, the companies said in a joint statement.

“The airplane is ready. ANA is ready. And, Boeing is ready,” Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.

Bacolod to hosts 2011 Visayas area Business Conference

THE city of Bacolod in Negros Occidental will be this year’s venue for the 20th Visayas Area Business Conference (VABC) of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

The VABC theme for this year is “Public-Private Partnership-Visayas Vehicle to a Vibrant Economy.” It will be held on September 15-17.

Invited in the business conference are Vice President Jejomar Binay as keynote speaker; Antonio Aquino, president of the Ayala Land Incorporated; lawyer Allan Gepty, deputy executive director of the Intellectual Property Office; Secretary Florencio Abad, Department of Budget and Management; Marcelino Remotigue, president of the Northern Mindanao Vegetables Producers Association; and Virgilio Paralisan, an ICT expert.

BSP: Businessmen more optimistic about Q3, Q4

BUSINESSMEN are more optimistic about the last two quarters of 2011 after business confidence declined for two straight quarters, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Thursday.

In a statement on its website, the BSP reported the results of its latest Business Expectation Survey (BES) that shows a 34.1-improvement in business confidence for the third and current quarter, and a 53.9-percent improvement for the fourth quarter.

These developments follow two consecutive periods since the fourth quarter of 2010 when the confidence index (CI) declined, the BSP said.

The Central Bank explained, “The higher CI in Q3 2011 indicates that more businesses are optimistic about the country’s economic prospects and their own operations than in the previous quarter.”

The higher CI in the fourth quarter, meanwhile, “suggests that the growth momentum could accelerate in the last quarter of 2011,” the BSP said.

Japan backs out of fish ports project

THE Philippine government is now in search of alternative funding for the P5-billion regional fish ports rehabilitation and development project after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) backed out of it.

“We were informed a few days back that the Japanese government will not provide funding for the project. Their priority now is to rehabilitate their own fish ports that were destroyed during the March 11 tsunami,” Philippine Fisheries Development Authority director Rodolfo T. Paz told reports in a briefing Friday.

The PFDA is now looking at possible funding from either from Korea or China or from governments in Europe.

PHL share prices drop ahead of long weekend

PHILIPPINE share prices slipped on Friday, closing the week in the red ahead of the long weekend and the overnight losses of US stocks.

The benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 37.13 points or 0.85 percent at 4,305.56 while the broader all shares shed 5.18 points or 0.17 percent at 3,009.44.

Market breadth was negative with 88 losers dominating 46 gainers and 39 stocks that closed unchanged.

All six sectoral indices retreated led by Mining & Oil’s 1.33-percent slide.

Market sentiment weakened before U.S. downgrade-S&P

SINGAPORE – The top official behind Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States said on Friday it was not to blame for August’s stock market rout, and warned that developed nations still needed to “get their act together” to tackle their mountains of debt.

S&P cut the United States’ prized triple-AAA rating one notch to AA+ on Aug. 5, exacerbating a rout in global stock markets that had already been hit by Europe’s growing sovereign debt crisis and fears of a renewed U.S. recession.

“From our perspective, it’s an oversimplification to say this was happening because of S&P’s downgrade,” said David Beers, S&P’s global head of sovereign ratings, referring to criticism that the move caused volatility in the market.

Government narrows budget deficit by 81% – Purisima


MANILA – Government narrowed its budget deficit by four-fifths in the first seven months of 2011 on the back of stronger revenue collection and judicious spending, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Thursday.

For the first seven months, the government posted a budget deficit of P43.713 billion – 80.95 percent narrower than last year’s P229.423 billion, Purisima said. He said the deficit was also 77.1 percent narrower than the P191.2-billion programmed for the period.

Explaining the strength of the government’s fiscal position, Purisima said its revenues grew by 13.47 percent, to P788.603 billion from P695.012 billion in the same comparable period.

Disbursements, on the other hand, decreased by a tenth, to P832.316 billion from P924.435 billion.

CEB now offers largest seat capacity in the Phl

THE Philippines’ largest flag carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB) is the largest airline in terms of seat capacity operating to, from and within the Philippines, according to a Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) article released last August 21, 2011.

CAPA named the top 10 carriers in the Philippines by capacity, or seats per week based on August 22-28, 2011 CAPA and Innovata data.

CEB offers 258,120 seats, with its fleet of 100% brand-new 8 ATR 72-500, 10 Airbus A319 and 15 Airbus A320 aircraft.

Meanwhile, CAPA reported the following seat capacity offered by other airlines: Philippine Airlines (220,302), Airphil Express (103,102), Zest Air (77,232), Cathay Pacific Airways (29,170), Asiana Airlines (17,624), Korean Air Lines (12,996), Singapore Airlines (12,600), SEAir (11,436), and Delta Air Lines (10,478).

Jobseekers brave rains for job fair

By: Lilibeth A. French

THE early morning rains did not dampen the determination of many jobseekers in this city and nearby towns to take advantage of the opportunity to find work either here at home or abroad at the city charter day job fair held here today, August 25.

Rodolfo Garcesto, 26, had to wake up early and brave the rains to travel from the town of Guimbal which is about 29 kilometers away from this city to accompany his girl friend to find a job through Project JED (Jobs, Employment, Development), a one-day job fair sponsored by the Iloilo City government as part of its 74th Charter Day celebration.

PHL imports pick up in June while factory output slumps – NSO

MANILA – Philippine imports picked up while local factory output slumped in June the National Statistics Office reported on Thursday.

In its latest report, the NSO said the Philippines paid $4.50 billion in imports in June, or a 6.6-percent improvement from $4.23 billion in June last year.

However, June imports declined by 7.9 percent from $4.89 billion recorded in May 2011. Total trade, which includes exports, meanwhile declined.

“Total trade for June 2011 was registered at $8.63 billion, lower by 1.7 percent from $8.78 billion in June 2010. Thus, the balance of trade in goods registered a deficit at $376 million compared to last year’s surplus of $332 million,” the NSO said.