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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

FCDU loans up in 2017

FOREIGN CURRENCY loans granted by Philippine banks went up in 2017, latest central bank data showed, with bigger credit lines extended to logistics and export firms. Banks lent out $15.374 billion under the foreign currency deposit units (FCDUs) as of end-December, up by 2.5% from the $14.992 billion worth of loans as of September 2017, […] The post FCDU loans up in 2017 appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

Poland signs nearly $5 billion deal to buy US missile system

WARSAW — Poland signed a $4.75 billion deal with the United States yesterday to buy air defense Patriot missile systems as it seeks to bolster its defenses a.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 28th, 2018

Canadian defense contractor laments cancellation of P12-B helicopter deal

MANILA, Philippines — A Canadian firm has lamented the termination of the P12-billion helicopter deal with the Philippine government, Defense Secretary Delfi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 21st, 2018

GSIS to sell Port Area property

The state-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is selling a prime property within the Port Area in Manila for a minimum of P20 billion in what will be its biggest asset sale to date.   According to the GSIS, the largest of its idle assets up for disposition was composed of two lots with land areas of 672,645 square meters and 109,212 sqm.   These lots were nearby the Manila North Harbor's Pier Two as well as Negros Navigation's ferry terminal in Tondo, Manila, according to the GSIS.   "Although it tops our big-ticket assets, we are selling the Port Area property as it does not contribute to our operations except for valuation gains....Keep on reading: GSIS to sell Port Area property.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 12th, 2018

‘Black Panther’ tops ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ in Disney-dominant weekend

After 24 days, 'Black Panther' has grossed $562 million domestically and $1.08 billion worldwide, 21st highest of all time......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMar 12th, 2018

Frigates deal pushing through; 1st delivery by 2020 – Lorenzana

MANILA, Philippines – Despite a “concerted effort” to stop a multi-billion peso frigate acquisition project , Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday, March 7, told reporters the much-awaited upgrade to the Philippine Navy is pushing through. “I think we have resolved the CMS (Combat Management System) issue. There wasn’t a problem in the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

Duterte on bank records, Lorenzana on Mercado, Trump admits Russian meddling in U.S. polls | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: President Rodrigo Duterte says he will 'give authority' to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission or PACC to look into his bank records.  Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana blames sacked Navy Chief Ronald Mercado for controversy surrounding the government's P15.7-billion frigate acquisition project.  An information technology expert says the server logs presented by Senator ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

Mercado: Navy did not approve Hanwha Systems as substitute

MANILA, Philippines – Ousted Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado stood his ground at the House hearing on the controversial frigates deal on Wednesday, March 7, as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana heaped the blame on him .  Mercado was relieved for alleged "insubordination" over the P15.7 billion frigates project of the Philippine Navy, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

Cuban s tanking talk raises key issue for NBA

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst The NBA fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for being honest. Cuban told Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Julius Erving on Erving’s podcast a couple of weeks ago that he told his players during a recent dinner that “losing is our best option. Adam (Silver) would hate hearing that…(but) we want the players to understand. As a player, you know that even though you may not agree, but at least if you respect the fact that someone took the time to talk to you, and you understood their perspective, you’re going to give me your feedback, but you’re part of the process.” But the league fined Cuban for what it called “public statements detrimental to the NBA” three days later. And Silver sent a memo to all 30 teams last week detailing the league’s position. “Throughout this period,” Silver wrote, “we have been careful to distinguish between efforts teams may make to rebuild their rosters, including through personnel changes over the course of several seasons, and circumstances in which players or coaches on the floor take steps to lose games. “The former can be a legitimate strategy to construct a successful team within the confines of league rules; the latter -- which we have not found and hope never to see in the NBA -- has no place in our game.” Yet Cuban did not in any way, nor has any evidence to the contrary emerged, state the Mavericks were losing games on purpose; that is, players were intentionally missing shots, or not putting forth effort on defense to let the other team score, or anything like that. (Even Silver acknowledged in the memo that the league has “no basis at this time to conclude that the Mavericks team is giving anything less than its best effort on the court, and Mark has assured us that this is not the case.”) So, why the fine? Was what Cuban said so incendiary? ‘’Mark knew his comments were public, so it surprised me that he was so candid, but that's who Mark is,” said one very high-ranking official from another team over the weekend. “To me his comment wasn't indicating tanking as their strategy but more about setting the expectation that playoffs were not a possibility. The only consolation of not making the playoffs is being in the lottery. You can't blame a team from trying to turn the lemon (losing) into lemonade (top 4 pick). The league needs to find a way not to reward losing.” Exactly. What Cuban said was spot on -- losing to improve the Mavericks’ Draft position was, and is, the best and quickest way for Dallas to get better and start winning games again. That doesn’t mean everyone agreed with Cuban being so blunt. “I think it was a totally inappropriate to say that to players,” said another extremely high-ranking team official for another team. “Whatever the team’s strategy may be, I firmly believe that the players should always play to win. The fine is meaningless to Mark; in fact, sometimes I think he enjoys the publicity he gets from the fines.” But. We ask people to be truthful and not lie about their intentions. We tell our kids that no lie is worth telling, and that telling the truth, no matter how painful, is always the best choice. So Cuban is honest and tells the truth, that short-term losing makes more sense for his franchise’s long-term interests, and he’s relieved of 600 large by the league. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers are lauded -- and revel in their slogan, “Trust the Process,” celebrated by the team’s most ardent supporters -- whose central tenet was to lose, and keep losing, until you could draft a player good enough to build around and win down the road. Which is, exactly, what Dallas is doing now. Indeed, increased tanking is the logical extension of an analytics-dominant league. If three is greater than two -- the reasoning behind the primacy of the 3-pointer in today’s NBA -- then doing anything you can to get more ping-pong balls in the hopper is the correct thing to do. You can’t just embrace the parts of doing it by the numbers that are pleasant. This is the flip side. Burying one’s head in the sand and pretending teams don’t do this doesn’t make sense. Everyone does it in every sport, or don’t you recall “Suck for Luck,” the chant of Indianapolis Colts’ fans before the 2012 NFL Draft? What of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros losing 324 games from 2011-13? Were they trying to win games, or did we all imagine them going from $102 million in payroll in 2009 to $26 million by 2013? “I resist the word ‘tanking,’ but I’m very pro ‘rebuilding,’ when it’s necessary,” said Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten, who in a former life ran the Hawks as general manager in the ‘80s and ‘90s, by telephone Sunday. “And, it’s painful,” Kasten said. “You’ve got to explain it to your team, your fans, to your front office, to your coaches, to your wife, to your kids, to the country club. It’s hard. It’s painful. It’s nobody’s first choice. But if it’s necessary, it’s often the quickest way to get the team back to winning. And don’t lose sight of that.” Kasten’s Dodgers lost the World Series to the Astros, who methodically built their team the last four years around young drafted players like Series MVP George Springer, last fall in seven games. But not only is he not angry with Houston for the way management took the franchise’s foundation to the studs -- compared with his high-spending Dodgers -- he admires the speed with which they went from worst to first. “I have real feelings about what they did,” Kasten said. “Because Mark Walter (the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, the global firm that bought the Dodgers in 2012) and I, before we bought the Dodgers, we were looking at Houston. Because they were available. And truthfully, when we looked at where they were, we were going to do the same thing. It had to be done. Because they were not on a track to win. And frankly, I don’t think I could have done it as fast, or as well, as (Astros owner) Jim Crane, or (GM) Jeff Luhnow. Because doing that, to the extreme, takes real intestinal fortitude.” Kasten makes a strong distinction between a team cutting payroll and going young and that winds up losing, and one that’s actively seeking ways to lose more games. “All of these owners are hyper-competitive, and they want to win,” Kasten said. “And truthfully, the quickest way to win, at least if you look at the last three world champions, is to rebuild and get young and get prospects and do it that way. And if you don’t think that’s the better way to go, ask the fans in Houston and Chicago and Kansas City how they feel. You won’t get one fan who disagrees with what is done. It is the quickest way to win.” Please do not misunderstand. I hate tanking. I hate the idea of introducing losing into your shop, even indirectly. It’s like a virus, extremely difficult to get rid of once it gets in a franchise’s bloodstream. A ticket is, in essence, a contract between parties: I pay top dollar, you give me top-dollar product in exchange. When a team tanks, it violates that compact; I don’t recall any team that’s given fans a tanking discount. It is also very difficult to tank effectively in the NBA. The last three teams with the best odds of getting the No. 1 in the Draft going into the Lottery -- Boston (2017), Philadelphia (2016) and Minnesota (2015) -- have indeed won. But prior to that, the team with the best odds didn’t get the first pick for 10 consecutive years, and 22 times out of the last 25 years. And even the teams that did buck the odds and get the first pick often picked wrong, or did I miss Anthony Bennett Night in Cleveland, or the Andrea Bargnani statue outside of Air Canada Centre? “The Draft is often a crap shoot anyway,” the official from the second team said. “So why not give your fans the best product that you can and then draft Donovan Mitchell,” as Utah did this season. The Jazz traded for the rights to the Kia Rookie of the Year candidate, who was taken near the bottom of the Lottery (13th overall by the Denver Nuggets). This came a season after the Jazz went 51-31 and won its first-round playoff series. I agree. Tanking does not reward excellence in team building -- good drafting, good free-agent signings, good player development -- it rewards the exact opposite of that. It’s a Golden Ticket that doesn’t even require you to buy an Everlasting Gobstopper. But, tanking is reality. You can’t pretend it isn’t. And the only way to completely get tanking out of pro sports is to eliminate the Draft in all sports, including the NBA. We don’t want to have that conversation, do we? Personally, I’d love it. Can you imagine the fight that would set up between interested teams -- and who wouldn’t be interested? -- in a certain 7-foot-1 freshman center almost certain to leave school early who currently plays for a school that’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately? Would he help the Lakers? The Knicks? The Bulls? The NBA team in the state in which the college player currently plays, which rather desperately needs another star to pair with its one really great player (whose name, if you must know, rhymes with “Nevin Cooker”)? Would he help any team in the league that doesn’t currently employ Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns in the middle? Most assuredly. And if he could control where he wanted to go, and for how much, the process would be must-see TV. Yet, while the real-world implications would be fascinating, I’m not sure how you could eliminate the Draft without loosening the underpinnings of the entire pro basketball enterprise (and, yes, one could make a moral case for doing just that, as it does go against the whole Manifest Destiny thing to artificially bind someone to a company rather than letting them market their services to the highest bidder). If there was no Draft, why would any player with Lottery-level talent go to college? Yes, there would be the occasional Grant Hill/unicorn who wants to go to college to better themselves intellectually and/or embrace the person growth that often comes from being on your own for four years. But, while sad to say, most kids with NBA dreams go to college because that’s the path through which they can ultimately get to the pros the fastest. With no Draft, and few of the top college-age players thus needing/wanting to go to college, you’d have a very different March Madness than you have now. And as that is a multi-billion enterprise, both for the broadcast networks that air it (including Turner Sports, which runs NBA.com) and the colleges that reap the financial deluge it produces, the likelihood of across the board support for a new player acquisition model is slight. Not to mention, you’d have a much different salary structure in the NBA, as there would be no rookie slotting for drafted players. And if you think the game’s superstars would stand idly by and watch more of that cheddar that they helped produce go out the door to guys who haven’t yet done anything … you’d be wrong. So, the Draft isn’t going anywhere. Which means the NBA must decide whether it wants to continue to be shocked, shocked that tanking is going on in its league, or accept the reality that there is not much patience for being in the middle ground in a league where every team is now worth more than $1 billion. There is only, as Pat Riley said a long time ago, winning and misery. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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 NewsMar 6th, 2018

China amps up defense spending amid modernization drive

BEIJING — China announced on Monday an 8.1% defense budget increase for 2018, giving a boost to the modernization of the world’s largest military after spending slowed in the previous two years. Beijing will splash out 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion) on its military, according to a budget report presented before the opening session of […] The post China amps up defense spending amid modernization drive appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 5th, 2018

China says defense budget to rise to $173 billion in 2018

BEIJING — China's finance ministry says that the country's defense budget this year will rise 6 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($173 billion)......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 5th, 2018

Currency fluctuations boost NG debt to P6.72T

Foreign exchange movements saw the national government’s outstanding debt rise to P6.72 trillion in January, the Treasury bureau reported on Thursday. “NG debt portfolio grew by 1.1 percent or P73.66 billion from the end-December level mainly due to the impact of foreign currency fluctuations,” the bureau said in a statement. Domestic borrowings accounted for the [...] The post Currency fluctuations boost NG debt to P6.72T appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMar 3rd, 2018

Govt exceeds 2017 infra spending goal

The national government surpassed its infrastructure and other capital spending target last year, the Budget department said on Wednesday, with resources used for priority public works, defense, local governments and education projects. Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a briefing that the administration spent P568.8 billion for infrastructure and other capital spending in 2017, 3.5 [...] The post Govt exceeds 2017 infra spending goal appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsMar 1st, 2018

Petron tops Cignal to grab early lead; F2 sweeps Cocolife

STA. ROSA CITY – Petron overcame a massive second-set meltdown and pulled off a 25-17, 8-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Cignal in the Philippine Superliga  Grand Prix, Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Center. American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley led the Blaze Spikers' hot start and fast recovery from a dismal second set. Stalzer and Hurley, the duo that spearheaded Petron to the finals of last year’s Grand Prix, combined for 27 of the Blaze Spikers’ 44 attack points while providing leadership down the crucial stretch. They finished with 18 points apiece on top of eight combined aces as the Blaze Spikers took an early lead with a 2-0 win-loss card. “We had some troubles in the second set,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “It’s good that we were able to recover and finish strong.” After trailing by just two, 8-10, the vaunted floor defense of the Blaze Spikers conked out, allowing the HD Spikers to uncork 15 consecutive points to claim the second set, 25-8. But Stalzer and Hurley connived in the attack zone to give Petron an early lead, 8-5, entering the first technical timeout. Cignal import Jeane Horton connected on a backrow attack to pull the HD Spikers closer, 14-17, but the American reinforcements caught fire anew, giving Petron a third-set victory, 25-20. Sonja Milanovic of Bosnia finished with a team-high 23 points while Horton chipped in 20 markers for the HD Spikers, who suffered their first loss after a rousing debut against Cocolife last Tuesday. Meanwhile, F2 Logistics kicked off its title-retention bid in style as it made short work of Cocolife, 25-21, 25-15, 25-16, in the second match. Veteran Cha Cruz unleashed her deadly form while last year’s Most Valuable Player Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela stood out, spearheading the Cargo Movers at the attack zone of this match that lasted for 84 minutes. Cruz punched in six of her 16 points off aces while Perez chipped in 14 markers for the Cargo Movers, who are missing the services of head coach Ramil de Jesus and the stars of De La Salle University this season. They joined opening-day winner Foton with a 1-0 slate while rival Petron is ahead after crushing Cignal in four sets early in the day. Serbian Sara Klisura and American Taylor Milton were the lone bright spots on offense with 17 and 12 points, respectively, for the Asset Managers, who have yet to win in two matches. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 24th, 2018

P15.7 billion Navy deal aboveboard — Lorenzana

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday admitted that there should have been another review of the P15.7-billion Frigate Acqusitio.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2018

Inquirer issues statement on Bong Go’s allegation of fake news

On Monday, Feb. 19, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said at the Senate that the Inquirer's reports on the sale to the Philippine Navy of two warships from Hyundai Heavy Industries are "fake news." In the preparation of the said news reports, the Inquirer relied on the documents it secured from reliable sources which were authenticated by military officers who are knowledgeable with the transaction. The Inquirer also sought the sides of Go and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and published their statements. The headlines of the news reports on this issue -- "Duterte top aide says he did not intervene in choice of Navy supplier P15.7 billion warship programs" and ...Keep on reading: Inquirer issues statement on Bong Go’s allegation of fake news.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Go raps Rappler, PDI for ‘fake news’

SPECIAL Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday blamed “irresponsible reporting” for generating controversy on the P15.7-billion Philippine Navy frigate project, calling out two media outlets: the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler. Go, who attended the Senate national defense and security committee hearing on the frigate deal, noted that the multibillion-peso project only [...] The post Go raps Rappler, PDI for ‘fake news’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Former Navy chief clears Bong Go of involvement in frigate deal

FORMER Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado on Monday cleared Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, of any involvement in the P15.7-billion frigate deal between the Philippine Navy (PN) and a South Korean firm. Mercado, in a prepared statement read during the hearing by Senate Committee on National Defense and Security said that Go [...] The post Former Navy chief clears Bong Go of involvement in frigate deal appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Bong Go: Involvement in frigate deal product of ‘irresponsible reporting,’ ‘fake news’

SPECIAL Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday insisted that he never intervened in the P15.7-billion frigate deal of the Philippine Navy and that the supposed controversy was a product of “irresponsible reporting” and “fake news.” “I [neither]intervene[d]in the acquisition of the two frigates by the DND (Department of National Defense) nor interfere[d]in [...] The post Bong Go: Involvement in frigate deal product of ‘irresponsible reporting,’ ‘fake news’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

LIVE: Senate probe into Navy frigate deal

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on National Defense and Security will conduct an inquiry into alleged irregularities involving the P15.7 billion p.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018