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IN the past two weeks, China has made a splash with its evidently successful initiative to create the “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” or AIIB, pitched as an Asia-centric alternative to the US-backed World Bank and the Western-leaning Asian Development Bank. To the consternation of the United States, a number of…

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia, reminds me of Cebu of 10 years ago. It is, at the same time, modern and laid back. There are very few tall buildings (over 10 floors) and there are many residential structures with beautiful traditional architecture. And heavy (?) traffic is like 6 a.m. in Manila.…

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The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) decided to hold its key interest rates steady on Thursday, but revised downward its inflation forecast for 2015. The BSP now projects inflation for full-year 2015 at 2.2 percent, down from a previous forecast of 2.3 percent. For 2016, it…

FINANCIAL MARKETS UPDATE

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FOR the second day in a row, key figures in the local bond and equities markets expressed concern about the underdevelopment of the Philippine capital markets, saying that their potential to meet the country’s enormous infrastructure and corporate funding requirements is being overlooked. Speaking at the Financing Growth of Philippine…


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Growth in the Asia-Pacific region is still generally at respectable levels but the falloff in trade and lower productivity continue to leave their mark, according to APEC Secretariat Executive Director Alan Bollard. “This is prompting policymakers to adapt to major structural changes underway in the region to unlock new sources…

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The Philippine stock market reclaimed record territory on Thursday, backed by strong foreign fund inflows and window-dressing for the end of the quarter. “Expect the market to be strong until March 31 because of window-dressing. Sheer inflows are pushing the market higher,” Miguel Agarao, investment analyst at Wealth Securities Inc.,…

Regions

World

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BAGHDAD: Attacks mostly targeting cafes in and around Baghdad killed 17 people, officials said on Friday, the latest violence to spark concern of a revival of all-out sectarian war. The blasts on Thursday evening struck cafes in a mostly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Baghdad, the central city of Baquba, and…

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TRIPOLI: Libya’s premier said on Thursday (Friday in Manila) he will replace his defense minister a day after fighting in Tripoli between groups of ex-rebels highlighted a lack of security nearly two years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi fell. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said in a speech that the country’s highest…

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DAKAR: United States (US) President Barack Obama hit out at discrimination against gays in Africa and hailed the continent’s “amazing” progress and potential on Thursday (Friday in Manila) on the first leg of a three-country tour. But Obama had to struggle to keep his message of economic development and democratization…

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors and choking smog in Southeast Asia are among the contentious issues set to dominate a major regional forum kicking off this weekend. The annual diplomatic and security meetings hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will this year be…

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TOKYO: Japan’s government on Friday confirmed the date of upper-house elections next month, with opinion polls tipping a big win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s party, clearing the way for him to push through much-needed economic reforms. A cabinet meeting declared voters would be asked to choose half of the…

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SYDNEY: Australia’s new prime minister Kevin Rudd said on Friday the conservative opposition’s proposal to turn back asylum-seeker boats risked inciting conflict with Indonesia, signaling the sensitive policy will be a key issue in September elections. Speaking in his first press conference since being reappointed prime minister in a party…

Today's Breaking News

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The regional director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) arrived in Manila on Tuesday to visit the worst hit areas by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) and review efforts to rebuild livelihoods there. Yoshiteru Uramoto, the ILO assistant director-general and regional director for Asia and the Pacific, is scheduled to…

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Pop megastar Justin Bieber sang to young survivors of the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon on Tuesday after he flew into the disaster zone to boost an international relief effort. Bieber flew unannounced to the central city of Tacloban just over a month after it was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international…

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Malacañang lashed back at Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez over the alleged refusal of national government to rescue thousands of his people in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Appearing before a congressional committee in the Senate, Romualdez lamented the lack of support from the national government and said that…

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FORMER Senator Panfilo Lacson is now officially a member of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s Cabinet. Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Tuesday said Lacson’s appointment has been signed by the president, including a memorandum that delineates his functions as “Rehabilitation czar.” “The Office of the Executive Secretary has released…