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Philippine central bank to hold rates on strong growth, low inflation MANILA: The Philippine central bank is expected to leave its main policy rate steady on Thursday and keep it unchanged for at least a few more months as low inflation and solid economic growth allow it to buck the global tide of monetary policy easing.All 11 economists polled by Reuters expect the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to leave the overnight borrowing rate steady at 4 percent for a fourth straight meeting.At least one analyst raised the possibility the central bank would cut banks' reserve requirement ratio, currently at 20 percent, on Thursday to help contain the peso's strength, which is causing headaches for exporters and dependents of overseas Filipino workers."Growth may be ailing elsewhere, but not in the Philippines. Consumption remains solid, thanks to steady demand, helped by a favourable demographic transition and excess liquidity," Trinh Nguyen, economist at HSBC, said in a research note.The Bank of Thailand cut ...

Amazon blasts U.S. agency for slowness on drone regulation   WASHINGTON: E-commerce power blasted federal regulators on Tuesday for being slow to approve commercial drone testing, saying the United States is falling behind other countries in the potentially lucrative area of unmanned aviation technology.Less than a week after the Federal Aviation Administration gave the green light to test a delivery drone outdoors, the company told U.S. lawmakers that the prototype had already become obsolete while the company waited more than six months for ...

Australia to join Asia infrastructure bank if conditions met SYDNEY, Australia will join a China-backed infrastructure bank if conditions such as multilateral and transparent governance are met, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday, flagging an announcement "in the next few days".China and 20 other countries signed a memorandum last October of understanding to establish the Beijing-headquartered US$50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) bank.Britain, France, Germany and Italy have also announced plans to join.But Washington has voiced concern about whether the bank would meet ...

3G in talks to buy Kraft foods in $40 billion deal NEW YORK: Private equity firm 3G Capital is in talks to buy Kraft Foods Group in a deal likely to be worth more than $40 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.The acquisitive Brazilian private-equity firm and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made headlines and shook up the food industry in 2013 with a takeover of iconic ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co for $23 billion.3G Capital has been eagerly looking for more acquisition targets after it ...

Vivendi urges shareholders to snub activist US investor PARIS: French media group Vivendi urged shareholders on Tuesday to reject demands by a US activist hedge fund for a larger payout from the proceeds of recent asset sales.Responding to draft resolutions proposed by P. Schoenfeld Asset Management (PSAM), Vivendi said its existing dividend plan already "ensures shareholder loyalty". PSAM, which says it owns 0.8 percent of Vivendi, is calling on other minority shareholders to join its campaign for a 9 billion euro ($9.8 billion) ...

HSBC chairman says new banker accountability rules are reasonable LONDON: New rules being rolled out to make bankers more accountable were "entirely reasonable" given the pain Britain suffered in the financial crisis, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said on Tuesday. The new "senior managers' regime" will make top bankers directly accountable for rule breaches on their patch from 2016, but it has been criticised by some bankers and financial lawyers for going too far and hard to apply in practice. The rules reverse the "burden ...

Lufthansa says working on assumption Germanwings crash was 'accident' BARCELONA: Lufthansa is working on the assumption that the crash on Tuesday of an Airbus operated by its budget carrier Germanwings was an accident, the airline's vice president said."For the time being, we say it's an accident, anything else would be speculation," Lufthansa vice president Heike Birlenbach told reporters at Barcelona's El Prat airport from where the plane took off.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln