AMLC to file Civil Forfeiture case against PhilRem


Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is preparing to file a civil forfeiture case against the very popular remittance firm PhilRem Service Corp suspected to have gotten hold of part of stolen $81 million from Bangladesh in February, according to a senior officer of the state regulatory.

Julia Bacay-Abad, AMLC Executive Director said that in order to restrain order issued by the Supreme Court, the financial intelligence unit will be filing a civil forfeiture case to recover some P109 million understood to have been left with Solaire Resort and Casino Players.

“Definitely we will file cases against them. We already filed a criminal case; forfeiture we will also file. Definitely we will run after them,” she said.

AMLC had already filed a complaint last April against the officers of PhilRem managed by President Salud Bautista, Michael Bautista, the Chairman and treasurer and Antony Pelejo, the Anti-money laundering compliance offering for not abiding Republic Act 9160 also known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.

Further during 31st may other actions were taken such as revoking the licenses and delisting PhilRem from the roster of remittance agents, foreign exchange dealers and money changers, by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Abad also stated that high-level mission headed by Anisul Huq from Bangladesh’s law and parliamentary affairs was thankful to the AMLC.

The Department of Finance (DOF), in a statement said that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominquez 3rd had already given confidence to members of high-level delegation from Bangladesh of the government’s dynamic steps to help recover the $81 million stolen funds. And each step taken will be followed by the process required under Philippine laws.

BoC Collection exceeds target by 12% in November


The Bureau of Customs’ (BoC) on Friday said it has surpassed the collection target by 12% in November totalling up to P40.239 Billion.

Custom Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon announced that the BoC has collected P40.239 billion for the month of November 2016, whereas the revenue target set was P36.450 Billion by Development Budget Coordination Committee. Boc’s Financial Service further reported that P40.239 Billion was 27% higher than last year’s November which was P29.061 Billion.

“In our outlook assessment report, the current collection record has exhibited a better leadership performance in the past five months in 2016, covering July to November,” Financial Service said.

The data also explained that it was only November 2016 that the BoC exceeded its target since December 2016, when the bureau collected P38.105 Billion surpassing the target of P31.984 Billion.

BoC’s Financial Services (BOC-FS) mentioned the positive hike was due to Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, Stakeholder’s cooperation, precision in transactions, and trader’s efforts in moving the BOC breach its revenue goal.

Further BOS cited, out of 17 BOS Ports, the Manila International Container Port (MICP) posted a huge P1 Billion exceeded from its P10.367.14 Billion revenue target for November by collecting P11.362 Billion.

This P1 Billion surplus in the revenue collection target for November might be noted to the positive outlook on Commissioner Faeldon and the augmented volume of imports in the port came in by twin holidays, the Christmas season and the Chinese New Year Holidays, said Lawyer Danilo G. Ballena, Jr., chief of staff of current MICP Collector Vincent Philip Maronilla.

Powerball Jockpot Winning Numbers January 9, Saturday: No Winner and money rises the next draw

The night of anticipation for those who purchased Powerball tickets is temporarily over as no ticket matched all the numbers that were drawn on Saturday. Yet another wait for the big jackpot, and to dream again of winning .

The Powerball Saturday winning numbers, shown live on tv and online were 16-19-32-34-57 and the Powerball number 13. Because nobody won, the payout for the next draw is expected to rise to $1.3 billion, according to lottery officials.

The odds to win the biggest lottery prize in the United States history were on in 292.2 million.

The Powerball jackpot started on November 4 from a base of $40 million. While no one has own the jackpot, the amount of prize has been increasing until it reaches this point.

The U.S. saw sales of $277 million on Friday alone and more than $400 million were expected Saturday, according to Gary Grief, the executive director of the Texas Lottery. Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Powerball’s next drawing is on Wednesday, January 13 at 10:59 PM ET.

Henry Sy is No. 73 in Forbes list of World Billionaires

Manila, Philippines – Tycoon Henry Sy is ranked No. 73 in the List of The 500 Richest People in the World 2015 released by Forbes on March 2.

Sy and Family net worth is $14.2 billion. Forbes stated that Sy’s source of wealth is diversified. Sy is the Chairman and CEO of SM Investments Corporation, SM Prime Holdings, SM Development Corporation and Highlands Prime Holdings. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of Banco de Oro. Sy is a Honory Chairman of China Banking Corporation. In August 2014, Sy was listed as the richest man in the Philippines with a net worth of $12.7 billion.

Bill Gates tops the list with $79.2 billion net worth while Carlos Slim Helo of Mexico ranks second with $77.1 billion net worth. Warren Buffet is third in this year’s list with 72.7 billion net worth.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is at No. 16 with a net worth of $33.4 billion. Jeff Bezos is at No. 15 with a net worth of $34.8 billion.

Google’s Larry Page is at No. 19 with a net worth of $29.7 billion while Sergey Brin is at No. 20 with a net worth of $29.2 billion.

There are 290 new comers in this year’s Forbes Billionaires list, including Michael Jordan.

John Gokongwei Jr ranked No. 254 with a net worth of $5.8 billion, also from the Philippines. Enriquie Razon Jr is is at No. 291 with a net worth of 5.2 billion. Andrew Tan ranked No. 330 with $4.8 billion. Lucio Tan’s wealth has dropped from $6.1 billion to $4.4 billion that tied him with George Ty at No. 369. David Consunji made it to the top 500 at No. 405 with a net worth of $4. 1 billion.

Foreign Investors To Own 100% of Domestic Banks

Foreign investors are now allowed to acquire up to 100% ownership to banks in the Philippines. That means that overseas banks can now fully participate in the economic endeavor of the country particularly in the banking sector.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said that his team has been very appreciative of the efforts of the country’s legislators to pass RA 10641 into law.

Supported by Republic Act or RA 10641, foreign banks have been given an opportunity to enjoy ownership over Philippine banks as the government now allows them to buy up to 100 precent of any local lender’s voting stock. The new banking rule is a major step to take in bringing foreign direct investments to the country as it may create a tough challenge to the domestic banks especially to those banks that have been struggling in competing even with their fellow domestic banks.

Prior to this new rule was a law that allowed foreign banks to acquire domestic banks for a maximum of 60%. Now that it has been raised to 100% the Philippine banking sector has to exert greater effort to keep its operation even if more foreign banks may get along the way.

The increase on the ownership opportunity of foreign banks over domestic banks may bring a great change in the Philippine Banking System.

Down Jones stocks down, marks 6th day of losses

The Down Jones Industrial Average is down for its sixth day in a row, making this the longest losing streak for the market since August 2013. Dow closed at 16,117.24 Thursday but fell all the way down to 15,935.22.

Better than expected earnings reports helped erase the earlier losses and helped the Dow climb back up to the 16,100 range.

“The market is not trading off of fundamental news, it is trading off worries, whether it’s the importing of weak economic growth or Ebola,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX went down by 3.1 percent which indicates that investors are not confident in the performance of the markets.

“We do all have short-term memories and really have never gotten away from 2008 and 2009. Even though the market was up double digits last year, and started off well this year, there hasn’t been a time in the last six years where people have had really strong convictions about this bull market,” Chip Cobb, portfolio manager at BMT Asset Management told CNBC.

Despite of the unveiling of new Apple products, the company’s shares are down again Thursday after failing to impress with the new iPads. The tech giant also refreshed its desktop computer units, the iMac, but the investors seemed to be not too pleased with the announcement. Apple closed down 1.3 percent at $96.26.

Netflix, a media streaming company, fell by almost 20 percent after subscriber count went down which disappointed Wall Street.

While most of the stocks are falling down, Bank of America went up Thursday by over 2 percent. The financial giant also had high volume as well with 94,583,500 shares traded.

PSE index drops

The stock market drop off for the second day Thursday following a heavy sell-off on Wall Street as a mixed bag of data raised concerns about the global economy.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped 71.80 points, or 1 percent, to 7,196.26 on a value turnover of P9.4 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 139 to 41, with 47 issues unchanged.The rest of emerging-market stocks fell to a six-month low.

“The sharp decline in US equities and the looming end to the US bond-purchase program is making markets nervous,” the head of research at Krungsri Securities Pcl Kasamapon Hamnilrat said from Bangkok. “Markets will face very big swings in fund flows.”

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.(PLDT), the biggest telecommunications fall by 1 percent to P3,040.

Security Bank Corp. dropped 2.9 percent to P140.30, while SM Prime Holdings Inc., the biggest builder,goes down 2 percent to P17.44.

The largest snack food maker Universal Robina Corp., declined 1.7 percent to P182.10.
The largest lessor of office spaces Megaworld Corp., lost 1.8 percent to P4.83,
Nickel Asia Corp., the biggest nickel producer, slipped 7.3 percent to P40.80.
Abra Mining & Industrial Corp. sank 29.5 percent to P0.0079.
Property developer Ayala Land Inc. fall 2 percent to P33.80.

Cathay Financial to acquire 20 pecent stake in RCBC

Manila, Philippines– Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holding Co. Ltd. is set to acquire a 20-percent stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) for P17.92 billion or $400 million.

RCBC said in on Thursday that they selected Cathay Life Insurance Co. Ltd., a unit of Cathay Financial, as the preferred bidder for the proposed acquisition of the 20 percent stake in the bank. This was one of the first of an expected string of deals after Manila relaxed rules for investment in the banking sector.

“We have chosen Cathay Life because they can add value to our business. They are the biggest in life insurance and management and second-largest private bank in Taiwan. But we will provide them access to ASEAN,” said by Lorenzo Tan, RCBC president and chief executive.

RCBC said in a statement that under the proposed acquisition, Cathay will subscribe to 124.340 million new shares of RCBC at P64 per share, for a total consideration of P7.957 billion.

“The parties are working together to negotiate and sign definitive transaction agreements, which include a shareholders’ agreement, a subscription agreement, and sale and purchase agreements,” RCBC said.

Both RCBC and Cathay expect to complete the deal by Dec. 31, 2014.
The Philippine Stock Exchange last week approved the stock rights offering of RCBC.

AB Capital: Philippine stocks to move sideways

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine stocks are expected to move sideways this week, with possible quarter-end window-dressing in the next few days said by AB Capital Securities Inc. in its weekly outlook report.

The expectations come as the standard Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dipped last week at 0.36 percent to 7,261.3, after hitting an intra-day high above 7,400.

The index subsequently pulled back on profit-taking. The Asian Development Bank cut the country’s 2014 growth forecast from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent and for 2015, from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent.
“We expect the PSEi to course sideways [this] week, with a wider trading band to allow for a possible quarter-end window-dressing early [in the] week as well as profit-taking after the climb,” said by AB Capital equities analyst Joyce Anne J. Ramos in a report.
“We advise investors to be cautious about their positioning—an entry near the 7,200 level is an opportunity for bargain-hunting,” she added.

Jonathan Ravelas, BDO Unibank Inc. chief strategist, tweet last week that he noted that the 7,200 was crucial and a dip below this could retest the 7,000 level.

Ramos also said investors would also be looking toward economic indicators as well as geopolitical developments abroad for the coming week. She also added that the Developments regarding the tension between Russia and Ukraine as well as about Iraq Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s warning to US and Paris about a possible attack on their subway system could also be a determinant of the index’s direction.

BIR to end “Premyo sa Resibo”

MANILA, Philippines – The “Premyo sa Resibo “of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will discontinue the program and will have its final draw in October 3,2014, according to the BIR in a statement.
The BIR and its technical partner Philweb Corporation have jointly approved to discontinue its implementation effective October 1, 2014. Philweb is the gaming technology provider of PSR. The PSR program has been implemented since June 2006.
PSR has been a key program in the BIR, as the program achieved its Prime Objective to raise the awareness on the importance of demanding the issuance of official receipts by commercial establishments and professionals as well.
The BIR and its technical partner for the program Philweb Corp. have agreed to discontinue the PSR program effective October 1, 2014.
All text entries from September 19 to 30 will qualify for this draw. All text-entries sent after 11:59 p.m of September 30, 2014 will no longer accept nor process by the PSR and telecommunication companies.
The final draw will be held at Room 611, Client Support Service, BIR National Office, Agham Road, Diliman, and Quezon City. The final draw will have 10 winners of P10, 000 each and 10 winners of P5, 000 each. Winning entries shall be posted in the and the BIR website at

ADB revises growth forecast

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) revised its growth forecast for the Philippines this year from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent.

Richard Bolt, ADB country director for the Philippines said that the Consumption and investment remain strong, and exports are recovering during the launching of the report.

Bolt also added that boosting growth and creating more jobs was possible by “accelerating infrastructure projects, taking measures to strengthen competition and increasing access to finance.”
The growth forecast next year was also trimmed from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent by the ADB together with annual economic publication Asian Development Outlook 2014.

Philippine’s gross domestic product grew 7.2 percent in 2013 and up by 6 percent in the first half of year 2014.

The 6.2-percent growth forecast for the Philippines was the fastest among the six major Southeast Asian economies according to the ADB report. It was also the third fastest among Developing Asian countries, behind China and Sri Lanka.

“Slowing foreign demand hurt some economies in the region, but as a whole, Asia and the Pacific is on track for firm growth” – ADB Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei said.

ADB raised the inflation forecast for the Philippines this year to 4.4 percent from the earlier estimate of 4.3 percent and the actual 3 percent in 2013.

ATM dispenses gold in Singapore

Singapore is now home to other “Asia-first” feature first automated teller machines (ATMs) that dispense gold.
The ATMs are made by Asia Gold ATM, and they dispense variety made of pure gold ranging from 1 gram to 10 grams in size that produced by top Swiss refiner PAMP.

Two such ATMs have been installed in Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa and the other at Marina Bay Sands.

Asia Gold ATM said it decided to launch the machines domestically because of the city-state’s status as “a travel destination for affluent travelers and an increasingly important hub for the gold-trade industry.” The two resorts, in particular, attract high-earning individuals from around the world.

The gold products which are available in a variety of sizes from one to ten grams will have different prices daily depend on the global gold prices of the day and are adjusted automatically every day.
A one gram pendant cost $100 while a 10 gram one cost $660 in the day of launching.

The company behind the machines, Asia Gold ATM, says it plans to roll out two or three more machines in the near future as it eyeing for more other Asian countries to base the ATMs.

Asia Gold ATM also claims that the two in Singapore are the first in Asia.

PDIC auctions real estate in Cebu

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.(PDIC)said Tuesday that it will auction off P51.57-million in real estate located in Cebu province.

The real estate was belonged to the banks that have been closed.

PDIC said in a statement that on October it would bid out 126 residential and commercial lots 9 on an “as is, where is” basis.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Cebu regional office in Cebu City will be the venue of the said public auction. Interested parties must submit their bids between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on that day said by the PDIC.

PDIC stated that each bid must be accompanied by a bond or deposit equivalent to at least 10 percent of the submitted bid, either in cash or manager’s or cashier’s check or a combination thereof issued by a commercial or reputable bank.

The PDIC also added that the winning bidder is required to pay the balance of the bid price not later than October 20 or else risk an automatic cancellation of the award of the property.

The properties to be auctioned are listed at the “property finder” section on PDIC’s website. Bid documents can also be downloaded online for free.
PDIC is tasked to dispose of the non-financial assets of shuttered banks.