Business (63)

Metrobank to buy out partner ANZ Fund in credit card unit

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. is increasing its stake in credit card unit Metrobank Card Corp. (MCC) to 100 percent, in the process buying out partner ANZ Funds Pty Ltd. in the joint venture.

"The buy out of ANZ in MCC is a mutual agreement between the companies," Placido Mapa, vice president and head of Investor Relations at Metrobank, told GMA News Online.

The deal was made with ANZ Funds Pty. Ltd. (ANZ), Metrobank told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday.

"Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company announced today that it entered into an agreement with its joint venture partner, ANZ Funds Pty. Ltd. (ANZ), to increase its stake in Metrobank Card Corporation up to 100 percent, Mapa said.

"Subject to regulatory approvals, Metrobank will purchase 20 percent of MCC for a consideration of P7.4 billion," the bank said in a separate statement.

The transaction will allow Metrobank to realize more earnings from the credit card business.

"Increasing our stake will leverage our operational efficiency in MCC as well as it will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metrobank," Mapa told GMA News Online.

The partnership with ANZ will continue until the buy out deal is completed next year, with the remaining 20 percent to be consummated under the same terms in the third quarter of 2018.

The Metrobank-ANZ joint venture was formed in 2003, with a 60-40 equity structure in favor of the George Ty-led bank.

Citing data from the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP), Metrobank said MCC has issued more than 1.5 million credit cards in the country.

Metrobank is betting on robust consumption in the Philippines to sustain the historically strong performance of the credit card company, bank president Fabian Dee said in the statement

In 2016, MCC reported total assets of P60.4 billion and a return on average equity of 36.3 percent

ANZ Funds is an Australia-based holding company that provides banking services. —Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News


Iconic SyCip dies at 96, business mourns

Washington Sycip (photo by Manny Llanes)

The SGV & Co. took to Facebook to officially announce their founder’s passing.

“With deep sadness, the partners, principals and staff of SGV & Co. announce the passing of SGV Founder Washington SyCip on the 7th of October 2017. Mr. SyCip went quietly while on a flight to Vancouver from Manila. He was 96 years old. The SyCip family requests for some private time at this moment. Information on memorial service to follow. Please pray for the eternal repose of is soul,” SGV said.

Former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima also took to Twitter to announce his mentor’s demise.

“Today we mourn the profound loss of a dear boss, friend, and mentor. I owe much of who I am to the privilege of having been under his wing. Washington SyCip was a towering pillar of the Philippine economy. For decades, he stood as an exemplar of excellence and integrity while shining the light of his sage guidance on our business community. Wash lived a very full and meaningful life. I will miss you,” Purisima said.

Insurance Commissioner Rufino H. Abad took to his Facebook stating that SyCip’s remains will remain in a New York hospital while documents are being prepared.

“He was a true statesman and served our country well!! Rest in our Lord’s peace Mr. SyCip,” Abad mourned.

Business leaders, especially the accounting and auditing industry, mourned SyCip’s passing.

Teresita Sy Coson, chair of SM Investments shared her thought: “With sadness, we regret to inform that Mr. Washington SyCip passed away last night on his way to New York. He has been a highly valued adviser to the Board of Directors of BDO Unibank. We will always remember him for his guidance over the years.“

The auditing industry, who looked up to SyCip as the epitome of the profession, deeply mourned Sycip’s passing.

Former Bureau of Internal Revenue Kim Henares said, ”With his demise, we lost one of the great minds ever produced by the Philippines.”

“The auditing industry has a lot to thank him as he pioneered and saw the growth of the industry not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of Asia. But more importantly, he trained and was a great influence to a lot of the captains of industries.”

Marivic Espano, managing partner and CEO of P & A Grant Thornton, called Mr. SyCip “one of the great pillars of the profession and played a key role in shaping it. He built a strong firm that is acknowledged as a good training ground for CPAs. He is leader who believes in the goodness and talent of Filipinos.”

Business advisory firm Bower Group Asia also tweeted “RIP Mr. Washington SyCip. This great patriot & leader of the Philippines, we learned so much from him.”

The book “Wash, Only a Bookkeeper,” a biography of Washington Z. SyCip by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. published on said that Mr. Sycip was born in Manila on June 30, 1921 to Albino and Helen Bau. Albino Z. SyCip was born in the Philippines in 1887; like many other Chinese immigrants, Albino had come over Fujian province in the late 19th century. Both come from well-off, progressive families.

The young SyCip would go on to become one of the foremost practitioners of accounting in the Philippines and Asia, as well as a prime advocate of closer cooperation between the Philippines, the United States, Europe and Asia.

He passed the examination for Certified Public Accountants at age 18, but was too young to receive a professional license to practice. The middle child in a brood of five decided instead to take his PhD in the United States at Columbia University. SyCip was working on his doctoral dissertation when Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base were bombed. He returned to Manila at the war’s end to be reunited with his family. Seeing great opportunities in the country’s postwar reconstruction, he set up his own accounting firm, W. SyCip & Co., in Binondo. As the business grew, SyCip with his longtime friend Alfredo M. Velayo, renamed the firm SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV).

After retiring from SGV in 1996, he continued to be active in business and civic endeavors, and sits on the board of many Philippine and international companies and foundations. His advocacies include the improvement of public education, micro finance and entrepreneurship, and public health. He is relentless in his pursuit to help alleviate poverty. A staunch believer in Filipino talent, SyCip is also an avatar of economic freedom, according to the book.

SyCip has been honored and his works recognized by various prestigious organizations and award-giving bodies.

The most recent was with the Edmonds Award for International Understanding by the New York-based International House. A philanthropist, SyCip was also conferred The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his contribution in promoting stronger business ties between the Philippines and Japan by the Japanese government.


Metro Pacific group eyes P20 billion for MRT3 takeover

NEW OPERATOR SOON? Once the Metro Pacific group hurdles the Swiss challenge, it expects to take over the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the MRT3 by early 2018. File photo by JR Belardo/Rappler 

MANILA, Philippines – The group of Manuel Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) will invest up to P20 billion to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) should the government approve its takeover plan.

MPIC on Monday, October 2, confirmed that its MRT3 proposal could reach P20 billion, inclusive of the equity component. This would be P7.5 billion higher than its initial projection.


But MPIC noted that "discussions are still ongoing" in terms of the participation of Ayala Corporation in the MRT3 proposal. (READ: Singson leaves Light Rail Manila, moves to Meralco

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters last September 15 that his department will soon give the original proponent status to the Pangilinan-Ayala group.

Once the Department of Transportation (DOTr) formally grants the original proponent status, the MRT3 proposal will be up for the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board. 

Following NEDA Board approval, the proposal must then undergo a Swiss challenge.

Based on the build-operate-transfer law, other private investors can submit competing offers under a Swiss challenge, while the original proponent will be given the right to match them. (READ: Pangilinan-Ayala group eyes MRT3 takeover by early 2018)

Among the terms of the unsolicited proposal is the resolution of the arbitration case filed in 2009 by MRT3 owner MRT Corporation against the government due to, among others, failure to pay equity rental payments on time.

The government, through the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), owns a 77% economic interest in MRT Corporation by virtue of its acquisition of asset-backed bonds in 2009.

The government's interest secured the state-run banks 11 of the 14 board seats, but it did not give them equity ownership.

DBP had said it is open to selling its entire economic interest in the MRT3, a move that can pave the way for a new private owner and operator.

Once the MPIC group hurdles the Swiss challenge, it expects to take over the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the MRT3 by early 2018.

The MRT3 is currently being maintained by Korean-Filipino firm Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI), while the system's rail replacement is being handled by the government. –





Care Indeed Attends Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Northern California Education Day

Photo shows Vanessa Valerio, COO and VP for Patient Care, and Apryl Ryder, Client Services Manager. The event, held last September 20 at the San Francisco Convention Center, provided information on how health care professionals can work more effectively with clients. For more details about Care Indeed's home care services and job opportunities, call(650) 328-1001 or log in to


Drug war, Islamists 'rising' risks for Philippine economy — Moody's

This file photo taken on August 17, 2017, shows people living in a settlement as the skyline of Manila's financial district is seen in the background. President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war and armed Islamist rebellion pose "rising" risks to the Philippine economy, though it should continue to grow robustly in the short term, Moody's Investors Service said September 16, 2017. Noel Celis/AFP
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war and the armed Islamist rebellion pose "rising" risks to the Philippine economy, though it should continue to grow robustly in the short term, Moody's Investors Service said.
Duterte is battling militants in the southern city of Marawi, while rights groups have accused him of orchestrating a crime against humanity with police killing more than 3,800 drug suspects in 14 months.
"The re-emergence of conflict in the southern Philippines, as well as the Duterte administration's focus on the eradication of illegal drugs, represents a rising but unlikely risk of a deterioration in economic performance and institutional strength," the credit ratings agency said.
Sound economic and fiscal policies including a focus on infrastructure development balance out political and other risks, it said in a country report released on Friday that affirmed the Philippines' investment-grade credit rating and stable outlook.
But martial law, imposed by Duterte on the southern region of Mindanao to stop the Islamist threat, could be declared elsewhere in the country and upset this balance, it said.
"(A) worsening of the Islamist insurgency in Mindanao... could lead to an expansion of martial law, undermine both foreign and domestic business confidence, and disrupt economic activity in other parts of the country," it said.
Duterte has said the military campaign in Marawi, which has left more than 800 people dead in a region wracked by decades of Muslim armed rebellion, was in its final stages.
However, on Friday Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana warned Duterte may also declare nationwide martial law if threatened protests against his rule turned violent or disrupted the country.
Anti-Duterte protests are planned for September 21, the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a bloodless "People Power" revolution in 1986.
Moody's also cited "continued uncertainties" over Duterte's proposed comprehensive tax reform law that Congress had yet to pass.
"In the absence of a significant boost to government revenues from the passage of the (bill), the government will likely pare back its plan to aggressively increase its spending on infrastructure," it added.
The report affirmed Moody's short-term 6.5 percent GDP growth forecast for the Philippines this year and 6.8 percent in 2018.

PG&E electric crews head to Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma

San Francisco, CA — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are being deployed to help restore power to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma.

About 125 PG&E employees, including line workers, equipment operators, supervisors and support personnel, will fly from California to Florida this week as part of the Hurricane Irma response team. Crews from throughout PG&E’s 70,000-square-mile service area will travel to Florida as part of a mutual-aid agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) to support restoration efforts.

“When major earthquakes struck Napa in 2014 and the Bay Area in 1989, and when Super Storm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, our employees stepped up to help those in need. Safely restoring power to customers affected by major disasters such as a wildfire, hurricane or earthquake begins the process of returning life back to normal for communities," said Nick Stavropoulos, President and Chief Operating Officer of PG&E. “It's our job and commitment to do this for our customers in California, and we're happy to be able to extend our efforts to those in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma.”

In 2014, PG&E and FPL signed an historic, cross-continent mutual-aid agreement, pledging support in the event of a major natural disaster, such as an earthquake in California or a hurricane in Florida. Besides the commitment of personnel, the agreement between PG&E and FPL includes logistics, common work procedures and safety protocols. This marks the second time this agreement has been activated. The first was for Hurricane Matthew, last fall, when PG&E crews were prepared to go to Florida but ultimately weren’t needed. Per the agreement, FPL as the host utility will cover the costs of this support.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Irma is a potentially catastrophic, Category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 185 mph. Irma made landfall in Florida over the weekend.

PG&E crews departed for Florida from the Sacramento area.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and


Walmart and Walmart Foundation announce at least $1 million toward Hurricane Irma relief and recovery

Bentonville, ARK. -- In anticipation of Hurricane Irma, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made a commitment to provide support for relief efforts through cash and product donations of at least $1 million to organizations helping in response.

"We are deeply concerned about the devastating impact Irma is expected to have on the families and communities we serve," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "We are committed to recovery efforts for our customers, associates and neighbors and will be there to help them through this difficult time."

Walmart is taking action by:

Centralizing preparedness efforts through the Walmart Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which operates 24 hours a day, tracking storm impacts and supporting our associates' needs and well-being.
Taking care of our associates by communicating with our store and club location management teams, reminding our associates of emergency procedures and what to do before, during and after the storm.
Activating emergency support teams dedicated to helping our stores and club locations during critical events such as this one, and providing subject matter experts in logistics and emergency management to assist local emergency operations centers.
Mobilizing truckloads of water into the potentially affected area to help meet the growing demand, understanding that water is a need across the region.
Supporting operators in the field and our replenishment teams to help ensure that shelves remain appropriately stocked.
Ensuring that our stores and club locations remain open for our customers as long as safe conditions prevail. If mandatory evacuations are ordered, we will close our facilities with enough time for our associates to secure shelter for them and their families.

Walmart and Sam's Club also continues to support Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery and is working with organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Convoy of Hope to coordinate work with elected officials and governmental entities. The company will continue to monitor Hurricane Irma and all other active storms in the coming days.

For the latest on response and recovery efforts, visit:

Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping our communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.


2 women entrepreneurs who invented a fake male cofounder say acting through him was 'like night and day'

  • Image: Kate Dwyer, left, and Penelope Gazin are the cofounders of art marketplace Witchsy. Courtesy of Witchsy

    Witchsy cofounders Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer created a fake male cofounder to conduct business by email.

  • They noticed an enormous difference between how contractors and contacts treated him versus how they treated the women.
  • They're glad to see that the story of Keith Mann, their fictional cofounder, is bringing more attention to sexism in tech and in the workplace.

Penelope Gazin, Kate Dwyer, and Keith Mann are the cofounders of art marketplace Witchsy.

But Mann doesn't exist.

Gazin and Dwyer told Fast Company's John Paul Titlow that they invented their third, male, cofounder after repeated instances of condescension with a sexist tone, like a developer who addressed an email to them starting, "Okay, girls ..."

"It was like night and day," Dwyer told Titlow of working through Mann. "It would take me days to get a response, but Keith could not only get a response and a status update, but also be asked if he wanted anything else or if there was anything else that Keith needed help with."

On Quartz, Dwyer told Lila MacLellan that before Mann existed, "it was very clear no one took us seriously and everybody thought we were just idiots." But when those same people received emails from Mann, Gazin told MacLellan, "they'd be like 'Okay, bro, yeah, let's brainstorm!'"

Dwyer told MacLellan they even gave Mann a backstory:

 "He was a dude's dude, they decided, the kind who played football in college. He was devoted to his wife of five years, and he couldn't wait to be a dad. 'He was just a really good guy,' says Gazin. 'He doesn't really understand Kate and I, but he's been happy to help us with our project before we find husbands.'"

Dwyer and Gazin's experience struggling to be taken seriously as company founders isn't as unique as you might hope. Gender bias and sexism in the business world is well-documented.

One of the biggest stories in tech this year was the internal memo sent by Google engineer James Damore, who was fired from the company after writing that there are biological differences to blame for the lack of women in tech. Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded that the claims were "offensive and not OK," but that "people must feel free to express dissent" in a respectful way.

And the stunning string of blows that ultimately led to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepping down from his post began with a blog post by former employee Susan Fowler alleging she experienced gender bias and sexual harassment at the company.

There have been reported instances of gender bias and sexism in every industry from Hollywood to economics.

In an email to Business Insider the day after Fast Company reported on Mann's existence, Dwyer reflected on the reaction they've gotten to the news.

"People have been losing their minds over the fact that we just gave him the last name Mann," Dwyer said. "So masculine."

She continued: "When people read about Keith they've been pretty upset at the idea that a fake character was taken more seriously than we were. He's being used as a tool now to help highlight how rampant sexism is in tech and the workplace in general. It's been great seeing so many people respond positively. Once again, Keith has done a great job!!"


3 Things You Must Know Before You Start Your Etsy Business

The following excerpt is from the Staff at Entrepreneur Media Inc. and Jason R. Rich’s book Start Your Own Etsy Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

If you decide to become a seller and create your own Etsy shop, the following are three key concepts you need to understand right from the start:

1. No online business is a get-rich-quick scheme. It will likely take weeks or months before you get your first sales and even longer before your business generates a profit. How long it will take to generate a steady profit is different for every Etsy seller.

2. When you create and launch an Etsy shop, you’re launching a legitimate business and need to run it as such, even if you’re doing this as a hobby on a part-time basis to make money. Start with a strong business foundation on which you can more easily build.

3. To be successful, you need to develop a thorough understanding of your product(s) and why cus­tomers will want or need what you’re selling. It’s equally essential that you develop a good under­standing of your niche target audience.

Now let’s dig into these three concepts in a little more detail.


Develop realistic expectations

First, operating an Etsy business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. While you can establish your online business in a few hours, realistically, it could take weeks or even months before you make your first sale and even longer to begin generating a steady profit.

The majority of Etsy sellers start their online business on a part-time basis. Over time, however, some develop the ability to grow their business and make it a full-time career that becomes extremely profitable. It’s absolutely essential that you begin this journey with realistic expectations, which you must establish right from the start.

Establish your business correctly from day one

The second concept you need to understand right from the start is that as a business operator, it’s important that you establish your business correctly and understand what this entails. As a business operator, you are responsible to register your business with the local, state, and/or federal government and establish it as a legal entity.

It’s then your responsibility to do proper bookkeeping (on an ongoing basis), keep track of all your income and expenses, manage your inventory, communicate in a positive and professional way with your potential and existing customers, take steps to earn a profit and pay taxes on your income. However, this is just the beginning.

As a business owner, you will be continuously juggling many different responsibilities, so it’s important that you understand what these responsibilities are and set everything up correctly from day one so the foundation for your business is strong. With a strong foundation, you’ll face fewer obstacles and challenges caused by common mistakes that first-time business operators often make, such as incorrectly filing state and federal tax returns or neglecting to file in a timely manner.

Being a detail-oriented and well-organized person who is good at multitasking and managing your time will also serve you well once you become an Etsy seller and start operating your online business.

According to Etsy’s research published online in 2016, approximately 46 percent of all Etsy sellers have applied for and acquired a business tax ID, and 41 percent have opened a business bank account. Theoretically, these percentages should both be 100 percent, which is why webook highly recommend that you establish and manage your Etsy business as a legitimate and legal business entity to avoid tax or financial complications in the future.

Know your products and your niche target audience

The third essential concept you need to understand is that you, as the business operator, need to sell items that people want or need. If no demand exists, and you can’t create a demand, you won’t generate any sales. So, in addition to understanding your product(s) and knowing how to differentiate them in the competitive marketplace, you also must understand who your target audience is and create a plan to successfully reach this audience and drive them to your shop.

The more you know and understand about your target audience and their habits, the easier it will be to sell your products to them, reach them with your marketing message and develop an online presence on Etsy that caters to this audience.


PH banking sector seen to grow by double-digits

MANILA -- Philippine banks are expected to grow "rapidly" in the next two years on the back of "strong" macroeconomic fundamentals, Standard and Poor's Global Ratings (S&P) said in a new report.

The banking sector will grow by 15 to 17 percent this year and the next, according to the "Philippine Banks To Continue To Ride Robust Economic Growth" published on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

"We believe that the credit cycle in the Philippines has further to run," S&P Credit Analyst Ivan Tan said in the report.

"Most of the factors that drive credit cycles – corporate profits, low interest rates, and abundant liquidity – still look very much in place," he added.

In a policy meeting earlier this month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) decided to retain the overnight lending rate at 3.5 percent, the overnight borrowing rate at 3.0 percent, and the overnight deposit rate at 2.5 percent.

Domestic liquidity grew by 13.2 percent year-on-year to P9.9 trillion in June, recent data from the central bank showed.

S&P noted, however, that among the downside risks to growth are the high costs to achieving financial inclusion.

"S&P Global Ratings believe Philippines' consumer loans segment has considerable potential for growth. However, the high branching costs to reach customers in this large archipelago is a hindrance," it said.

BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. earlier said his focus would be on financial inclusion.

S&P retained its "stable" outlook on the Philippine banking industry.

"The outlook for banks in the Philippines is stable over the next 12 months, reflecting supportive economic conditions and sound financial fundamentals," it said.

"We believe the combination of sound capital and funding profiles is an enduring strength of the Philippine banking system and will continue to underpin ratings on the country's banks in 2017," said Tan. — GMA News

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