I-Remit Philippines Partners with Travelex Bahrain

I-Remit Inc. (PSE: I) and Travelex have inked a partnership aimed at providing Filipino remitters in Bahrain the ease and convenience of sending and receiving money between Bahrain and the Philippines. Travelex is a leading foreign exchange specialist and this new service will be accessible at all 25 branches across the Kingdom, including five airport stores which offer remittance and FX products.

Founded in 1976, Travelex Worldwide is present in 70 countries across the globe, with more than 1,500 stores. It processes over 70 million transactions yearly, with products encompassing FX, VAT Refunds, Remittance, Prepaid cards and IMT.

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AGI Earmarks PhP240B for Capex Up to 2020

Alliance Global Group Inc. (PSE: AGI), the investment holding company of billionaire Dr. Andrew L. Tan, has announced a three-year capital expenditure (CAPEX) of PhP240 billion up to 2020 to ensure its organic growth.

AGI’s CAPEX is intended to launch more development projects around the country, further increase its leasing capacities for its office buildings and lifestyle malls, expand land banking as well as hotel and integrated resorts operations, and to increase the number of McDonalds stores nationwide, in addition to funding maintenance CAPEX.

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US-China Trade War Enters New Phase

By Agence France-Presse

President Donald Trump on Monday effectively broadsided one of the world’s largest trade relationships, announcing plans to proceed with tariffs on another $200 billion in US imports of Chinese goods.

Taken with the $50 billion in tariffs already in place, this means roughly half of everything Americans buy from China — their largest source for imports — is now subject to punitive import duties.

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BOI Approves PetroSolar’s Tarlac-2 Solar Power Project

PetroSolar Corp. was awarded on September 17, 2018 a Certificate of Registration approved on September 7, 2018 by the Board of Investments (BOI) for the 20MWDC Tarlac-2 Solar Power Project (TSPP-2) located in Central Technopark, Tarlac City. PetroSolar, a joint venture of PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (PSE: PERC) subsidiary PetroGreen Energy Corp. (PGEC) and EEI Corp.’s (PSE: EEI) power arm EEI Power Corp., owns and operates the 50MWDC Tarlac-1 solar plant which started commercial operations in February 2016 as one of the early qualifiers in the government’s solar feed-in-tariff program.

“With BOI’s award of the incentives registration for our Tarlac -2 project, PetroSolar is closer to securing the Confirmation of Commerciality from the Department of Energy (DOE) needed for project construction to begin. We are excited by this new investment which will see our solar asset increase in capacity from 50MW to 70MWDC,” declared PetroSolar President Milagros V. Reyes.

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2018 Current Account Deficit Seen Widening to $7.7B-$9.8B

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippines may incur a shortfall of as much as $9.8 billion in its economic transactions with the rest of the world this year, over three times larger than the level at which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) aims to cap the current account deficit, a top economist from ING Bank said.

This deterioration in the country’s current account position is seen as a big drag on the peso, which is already trading at its 13-year lows against the dollar. In the first half, the country’s current account position posted a deficit of $3.1 billion, which already equaled the BSP’s full-year cap.

“The outlook is unlikely to show any improvement. We expect this year’s current account deficit to amount to between $7.7 billion and $9.8 billion, or between 2.3 percent and 2.9 percent of GDP (gross domestic product),” ING Philippine economist Joey Cuyegkeng said in a research note on Monday.

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BIR Sets 12% Interest Rate for Delinquent, Deficient Tax Payments

By Ben O. de Vera, Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has issued rules mandating a lower delinquency and deficiency interest rate of 12 percent under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

Revenue Regulations No. 21-2018 issued by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay on September 14 noted that under Republic Act No. 10963 or the TRAIN law, unpaid taxes were to be slapped interest “double the effective legal interest rate for loans or forbearance of any money in the absence of an express stipulation as set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from the date prescribed for payment until the amount is fully paid.”

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MGB: Mineral Exploration at Philippine Rise on Track

By Madelaine B. Miraflor, Manila Bulletin

The mineral exploration at Philippine Rise, which could be the next big source of huge revenues for the government, is on track, with Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recently completing the geological survey along the Bicol Shelf area.

To recall, MGB, the agency tasked to develop and regulate the country’s highly controversial minerals sector, has embarked on a five-year survey to explore the mineral resources in Philippine Rise, a 25-million hectare shallow continental shelf east of the main island of Luzon.

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Remittances Up 3% YoY

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached $2.7 billion in July 2018, higher by 4.5 percent compared to the level posted in the same month in 2017. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances grew by 3 percent year-on-year to $18.5 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said.

The rise in personal remittances during the first seven months of 2018 was supported by an increase of 2.8 percent and 4 percent in remittance inflows from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, respectively.

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