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HK currency defense tops $1.2 billion

THE Hong Kong dollar remains stuck at the weak end of its currency band, even after the monetary authority plowed $1.2 billion into defending the peg. The city’s dollar traded near HK$7.85 per greenback at 12:23 p.m. local time, the level that can spur buying by the de facto central bank. The Hong Kong Monetary […] The post HK currency defense tops $1.2 billion appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource: bworldonline bworldonlineApr 16th, 2018

Comm. Silver, NBPA say competitive imbalance not a problem

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- First came the backlash. Next, backlash to the backlash. By Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), much of the whipsawing over competitive balance -- or more accurately, imbalance -- as an NBA problem rising to the level of crisis had calmed down. Yet powerful voices from the league’s summer nerve center could not dismiss it entirely as an issue meriting closer inspection. “I'm not here to say we have a problem,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday after the Board of Governors meeting. “And I love where the league is right now. [But] I think we can create a better system.” Neither Silver nor Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, sounded an alarm in their separate news conferences about what many see as a widening gap between the league’s haves and have-nots. Roberts, in fact, seemed to feel that all is well and that talent inequality is in the eye of the beholder. “Competitive balance, it almost depends on what your favorite team is,” said Roberts, who was rehired as head of the players union in another four-year contract announced Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “I don’t hear anybody in the Bay Area worrying about competitive balance. I also don’t hear the people in Philadelphia worrying about competitive balance, or Houston. “We’ve got great teams. And it’s never been the case, as far as I’m concerned, where I was not able most of the time to predict what teams were going to be in the Finals.” The topic came up in precisely that context before the Finals last month when Silver was asked about Golden State and Cleveland meeting in the championship series for the fourth consecutive year, a first in any of the major professional sports leagues. It reared its head again this month soon after free agency opened on July 1, with events conspiring to make insiders wonder about a growing disparity among teams. LeBron James’ signing with the Los Angeles Lakers was the biggest move in what appeared to be a continuing shift of strength into the league’s Western Conference. That was followed by the news that DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans’ All-Star center, had joined the champion Warriors. That signing sparked the initial backlash, a rich-getting-richer cry that pointed not to Cousins’ one-year deal for $5.3 million in 2018-19 salary but the fact that the Warriors will spend in excess of $20 million for it when luxury taxes are counted. Golden State had the NBA’s fattest payroll in 2017-18 of $137.5 million, despite a $99 million salary cap, thanks to various exceptions in the prevailing “soft cap” system. “I don't necessarily think it's per se bad that the Warriors are so dominant,” Silver told reporters, not long after discussing the “competitive landscape” with the owners. “As I've said before, we're not trying to create some sort of forced parity. What we really focus on is parity of opportunity. And a fair point could be made in the tax system, when certain teams are spending significantly more than others, that that's not parity of opportunity.” The counter-backlash came from folks who rushed to the Warriors’ and Cousins’ defense, correctly noting that neither did anything wrong, conducting their business within the rules as specified by the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players. That CBA is the object of endless study and imagined revision, with amendments possible if negotiated prior to the end of the current deal after the 2023-24 season. Shooting for a “hard cap” likely would be a tough sell to players accustomed to the freedom of movement they currently enjoy. “It's not necessarily [Roberts’] issue,” Silver said in response to the union director’s characterization. “I think it's on me and our Labor Relations Committee, ultimately, to sit with the players and their committee and convince them that there may be a better way of doing things.” Silver mentioned Charlotte owner and legendary NBA superstar Michael Jordan, chairman of that Labor Relations Committee, as a valuable resource in addressing owners’ and players’ competition concerns. Both sides have valid arguments. Interest in the NBA never has been higher by almost any metric chosen, from selected TV ratings and licensing revenues to the game’s growth globally. Attendance at the MGM Resorts Las Vegas Summer League keeps pushing higher, with fans eager to see top rookies, second-year players and relative free-agent unknowns chasing their pro hoops’ dreams. The valuations of the 30 NBA franchises, of course, all have soared beyond $1 billion, according to Forbes.com, with the Knicks, the Lakers and the Warriors all estimated to be worth more than $3 billion. Longtime NBA observers such as TNT’s David Aldridge wrote a column this week that argued on behalf of dominant teams, anyway, saying that they actually drive rather than depress fan interest. As for any inability to win games or titles, he laid the blame for that on poor franchise management. The Knicks and the Clippers have all sorts of big-market advantages but haven’t won any championships lately (or at all in the Clippers' case). For Roberts, whose players reap 51 percent of NBA basketball-related income that tops $7 billion annually, business is good, period. “I’m excited about this new season,” she said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “This free agency, there’s been a lot to write about so we’re all, I think, looking forward to what’s going to happen come October. “To the extent that people are predicting the end of the game, I just don’t think so. I would be surprised if Adam called me to say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’ I think he’s as happy as I am. ... I think we’re in good shape.” Critics note Golden State’s on-court dominance in winning the last two championships. It only took nine NBA Finals games --one over the minimum -- while facing arguably the league’s best player in LeBron James. But those same critics seem to foget that the Warriors were pushed to the full seven games in the conference finals, and actually faced elimination twice before beating the Rockets. “I recognize what Michele's saying,” Silver said. “But at the same time, if you talk to players in the league, and I've talked to plenty of individual players as well, they want to be in the most competitive league possible too.” For every player on the Warriors' roster -- or the Rockets, the Thunder, the Celtics or the Sixers -- there are five or six on teams that realistically have no chance of chasing a ring or the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Cleveland went to four straight Finals thanks to James; no one envisions the Cavaliers getting back any time soon. “Maybe there are some players who think they’re on a second-class team,” said Sacramento wing Garrett Temple, one of the NBPA vice presidents. “But most players I’ve played with or been around, their thought process is, ‘We’re gonna get our team to become one of those first-class teams.’ It’s more of a challenge. More so than, ‘We need them to disband so we can make everybody equal.’ Because we’re competitors.” That really is the crux of the issue. Silver and some franchises want most of the competition to come on the floor, in games, in full view of fans who believe their teams can sufficiently compete. The league’s current title contenders are fine with a system that allows them to compete all the way to the top, with an owner stroking gargantuan checks to crowd out rivals. “Let me make clear that under the current system we want teams to compete like crazy,” Silver said. “So I think the Warriors within the framework of this deal should be doing everything they can to increase their dominance. That's what you want to see in a league. “You want teams to compete in every way they can within the rules.” Silver addressed a variety of topics that were came from the BOG agenda, including: -- Change is coming on multiple fronts, most notably in the league’s age limit. That seems likely to be re-set back to 18 years old from 19, permitting players to enter the league from high school. It’s a move that the NBA should be better equipped to handle with a near 30-for-30 farm-system affiliation with its G League. It also fits with the findings of an NCAA task force that cites dissatisfaction with “one-and-done” college players. Said Silver: “My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change.” -- The start of free agency, annually triggered at midnight ET on July 1 (12:00pm, July 1, PHL time), will be moved to a daytime or prime time opening bell. It’s one of those traditions that no one thought to change, Silver said. -- The league’s investigation into the Dallas Mavericks’ sexual harassment issues should be completed by the end of the month. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

$60M in virtual currency hacked in Japan

TOKYO: Bitcoin and other digital currency worth around 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) has been stolen in Japan following a hacking attack, a virtual exchange operator said on Thursday. Osaka-based Tech Bureau, which operates virtual currency exchange Zaif, said its server had been illegally accessed and money transfered. “We decline to comment on the details [...] The post $60M in virtual currency hacked in Japan appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated News17 hr. 55 min. ago

$60 million in virtual currency hacked in Japan

TOKYO, Japan – Bitcoin and other digital currency worth around 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) has been stolen in Japan following a hacking attack, a virtual exchange operator said on Thursday, September 20. Osaka-based Tech Bureau, which operates virtual currency exchange Zaif, said its server had been illegally ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

Typhoon Ompong leaves at least P2.8 billion in agricultural damage

MANILA, Philippines – Office of Civil Defense Spokesperson Edgar Posadas said the damage to agriculture from Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) has reached an estimated P2.8 billion in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) as of Monday, September 17. But the cost is likely to increase, he said, as the National Disaster Risk ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

Current account gap hits $3.1B

The Philippine economy spent substantially more than what it earned through foreign trade in the first half of 2018, with the resulting currency outflows further depressing the value of the peso against the US dollar. In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the country's current account posted a deficit of $3.1 billion in the first six months of the year. This was markedly higher than the $133-million deficit recorded in the same period in 2017. At this level, the current account---which tallies the country's trade surplus of gap with the rest of the world---already hit the $3.1-billion full year target of the central bank only halfway into 2018. "This outcome...Keep on reading: Current account gap hits $3.1B.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 15th, 2018

Washington OKs $2.6-B arms sales to Seoul

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States on Thursday (Friday in Manila) approved a new arms sale to South Korea worth $2.6 billion, with denuclearization talks stalled between Washington and the North. Six Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft worth $2.1 billion form the bulk of the sale, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement. A… link: Washington OKs $2.6-B arms sales to Seoul.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 15th, 2018

Washington OKs $2.6-B arms sales to Seoul

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States on Thursday (Friday in Manila) approved a new arms sale to South Korea worth $2.6 billion, with denuclearization talks stalled between Washington and the North. Six Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft worth $2.1 billion form the bulk of the sale, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement. A [...] The post Washington OKs $2.6-B arms sales to Seoul appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 14th, 2018

PHL foreign debt down 1.4% at $72.2B as of end-June 2018 —BSP

OUTSTANDING foreign debt of the Philippines declined in the first six months of the year as a stronger dollar revalued the cost of third currency liabilities in favor of the country, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Friday. Central bank data showed that outstanding external debt stood at $72.2 billion as of end-June, down […] The post PHL foreign debt down 1.4% at $72.2B as of end-June 2018 —BSP appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsSep 14th, 2018

Asean military spending not really about China

H NI -- Although Southeast Asia countries are spending more on military defense equipment, it doesn't mean they are increasing the risk of conflict in the region, according to Tim Huxley, Executive Director at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.   Speaking at a session on understanding Asia's new balance of power, one of the activities as part of the 2018 World Economic Forum on Asean in H Ni, Huxley revealed some surprising numbers on regional arms spending.   In 2017, Southeast Asian countries spend more than US$39 billion on defense. According to Felix Heiduk from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, total defense spendi...Keep on reading: Asean military spending not really about China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

PH foreign exchange reserves hit 2-mo high of $77.8B in Aug

The Philippines’ gross international reserves (GIR) recovered slightly in August to hit its highest level in two months, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) attributing the result to its foreign exchange operations and the national government’s net foreign currency deposits. Central bank data released on Friday showed the country’s foreign exchange reserves at $77.828 billion, up 1.4 [...] The post PH foreign exchange reserves hit 2-mo high of $77.8B in Aug appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

Philippines’ FX reserves slip in July

THE COUNTRY’s foreign exchange reserves dipped to a fresh six-year low in July as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) tapped the pool of funds to defend the local currency. Gross international reserves (GIR) dropped for the fourth straight month to $76.892 billion from June’s $77.525 billion and from $81.065 billion a year ago. This… link: Philippines’ FX reserves slip in July.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

Taiwan’s Tsai seeks $11B defense budget as China threat grows

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen said on Monday she is seeking to ramp up spending on the armed forced, as relations with China deteriorate. Her proposal to increase the 2019 defense budget by 5.6 percent to Tw$346 billion ($11.3 billion) will go before parliament following the summer recess. Beijing sees democratic self-ruling Taiwan as part [...] The post Taiwan’s Tsai seeks $11B defense budget as China threat grows appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018

Farm damage from storms tops P1 billion

CROP damage caused by two storms and a tropical depression has topped P1 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture. The post Farm damage from storms tops P1 billion appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

BoP deficit tops $3B in first half ‘blowout’

THE country’s balance of payments (BoP) deficit further widened in June, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Thursday, hitting a 19-month high and boosting the year-to-date figure past the $3-billion mark. The $1.177-billion result followed May’s $583-million shortfall and was also wider than the $569 million recorded a year earlier. It was the [...] The post BoP deficit tops $3B in first half ‘blowout’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJul 20th, 2018

Customs tops June goal as most ports perform

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) collected P50.139 billion in June — 41.6% more than the P35.417 billion recorded a year ago and 4.9% above its P47.797-billion target last month — as most of its port collectors exceeded their goals......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

PH firms’ dollar loans still rising

Philippine firms continued to borrow in dollars during the first quarter of the year, with the amount of new loans exceeding repayments despite the volatile exchange rate, the central bank said on Friday.   In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said loans granted by banks' foreign currency deposit units (FCDU) rose by 6.4 percent to $6.3 billion at the end of March 2018, up by $685 million from the end-December 2017 level of $15.4 billion.   BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the maturity mix of the loan portfolio remained biased towards medium- to long-term debt or those payable over a term of more than one year, which represented 74.2 percent o...Keep on reading: PH firms’ dollar loans still rising.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 29th, 2018

2nd phase of AFP modernization okayed

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved the second phase projects of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program worth P300 billion, the Department of National Defense announced . DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said second phase dubbed the Second Horizon, which will be implemented from 2018 to 2022, has a….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

Philippines’ Duterte approves $5.6-bln military upgrade

MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a five-year plan to spend 300 billion pesos ($5.6 billion) to modernize the outdated military, defense officials said on Wednesday. A previous 15-year upgrade plan failed to take off in the mid-1990s, leaving the Philippines with outdated hardware, including warships from World War Two and helicopters used by the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

Lorenzana: RP can buy choppers elsewhere

The government is ready to look for other sources of utility helicopters if Canada chooses not to proceed with the P11.7 billion sale of 16 brand new Bell 412s to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. Canadian papers have reported that the Canadian government has ordered a review of the deal amid concerns that the helicopters would be used in fighting rebels.Lorenzana, in a statement, stressed that the 16 brand new Bell412 combat utility helicopters would be used by the AFP to save lives.“Should the Canadian government choose to discontinue their sale of the aircraft to us, then we will procure them from another source,” said Lorenzana.The $233 million agreement was only signed last Wednesday.Immediately after, the Canadian government, through Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne reportedly ordered a review of the deal after learning that the helicopters would be used for internal security operations of the AFP.“When we saw that declaration ... we immediately launched a review with the relevant authorities. And we will obviously review the facts and take the right decision,” Champagne was quoted in the reports.But Lorenzana maintained that the helicopters would be used by the AFP “primarily for the transportation of personnel and supplies, ferrying wounded and injured soldiers, and the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations.” “They are not attack or close support aircraft. While they may be used in support of Internal Security Operations or ISO, their role is limited to those that I mentioned,” he said.“As its designation ‘combat utility helicopter or CUH’ connotes, the Bell CUH 412 is a utility helicopter and, contrary to what some parties mistakenly believe, its mission is to save lives,” Lorenzana added.The Bell 412EPI helicopters were supposed to be delivered early next year.Canada cites HR strings on dealChampagne also mentioned human rights as key element in Canada’s foreign and trade policy.It will be recalled that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during last November’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Manila, raised questions on President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs which is being blamed for thousands of alleged extra judicial killings in the country.The Department of National Defense (DND), however, stressed that while it is the prerogative of the Canadian government to review the deal, human rights issue should not equate to the ISO of the AFP in general.“I think it is unfair to equate internal security operations in general with human rights violations first of all the alleged human rights violations are unverified there are still being investigated and have to be documented,” DND’s Public Affairs Service chief Arsenio Andolong said.“I think it’s premature to cast judgment on the armed forces in this regard so I think it would be to the best interests of both our countries to step back and reconsider what the Canadian government is thinking,” Andolong added.“If they don’t want to sell, well, we may consider the prospect of procuring them from other sources,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. Politicization raised“They must not politicize the acquisition,” said Major-General Restituto Padilla, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programmes of the Philippine armed forces.According to the Philippine defense department, the deal was signed with trade promotion outfit Canadian Commercial Corp last December, shortly after Trudeau clashed with Duterte during a Manila visit over alleged Philippine police murders of thousands of drug suspects.The Philippines employs attack helicopters and planes to support ground troops battling militants in the Muslim south, as well as against communist guerrillas in other parts of the mainly Catholic Asian nation.As well as in the drug war, the Philippine military has for years been saddled with allegations of human rights abuses in its counter-insurgency campaigns.“They are purely for utility purposes — ergo, transport purposes especially during HADR operations,” Padilla said, using a military term for disaster response.“We have separate and dedicated attack helicopters,” he added.Apart from armed insurgencies, the Philippines is also regularly battered by typhoons.“These will be used to transport personnel, supplies, humanitarian missions, ferrying of wounded and injured soldiers, and other forms of humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” Roque added.Bell Helicopter said the Philippine military would use the aircraft “for a variety of missions such as disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport and utility transport”. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Outstanding NG debt dips as peso strengthens

A stronger peso and foreign currency movements saw the national government’s outstanding debt ease to P6.874 trillion last month, the Bureau of the Treasury reported on Tuesday. “The national government’s (NG) outstanding debt was registered at P6,874.71 billion as of end-April 2018, P4.81 billion or 0.10 percent lower than the previous month due to the [...] The post Outstanding NG debt dips as peso strengthens appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsMay 29th, 2018