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Globe, DoT link up to boost RP tourism

Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00 Published in Business

Globe Telecom and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DoT), yesterday launched a free traveler SIM program targeting millions of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tourists.
The Globe traveler SIM is a local prepaid card that offers local rates for calls, texts and mobile data services, giving tourists and visitors more convenient and affordable way to reach contacts around the world from the Philippines.
Getting a local SIM will afford the user a more cost-efficient way to connect than using an international number which charges international call, text and browsing rates.
The program is Globe’s way in supporting the Visit the Philippines Year 2015 campaign which aims to promote the country as Asia’s top tourist destination.
With the Globe traveler SIM, users can receive calls and texts from abroad for free and cut costs on mobile data by subscribing to TravelSurf, which allows them to surf the Internet on mobile for $11 for seven days or $23 for one month.
TravelSurf subscribers are titled to unlimited access to their e-mails, social networking sites, apps, and travel blogs and reviews for a worry-free stay in the Philippines.
Users can also call abroad for as low as $0.40 per minute.
The program will be officially launched today at leading airports NAIA 1, 2 and 3, Cebu-Mactan international Airport, Davao International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Ilolio International Airport and Clark International Airport.
Tourists and overseas Filipino workers can claim the free Globe Traveler SIM by presenting their non-Philippine passport, foreign resident card, Seaman’s book, or OFW E-card at any of the Globe booths located at said airports.
The firm’s senior vice president for international business, Rizza Maniego-Eala, emphasized that their target for this latest program is to help the Philippines attract more tourists and not just revenues.
“Of course our marketing department has a revenue target but that is not the main salient point of this program. Our primary target is to get more tourists and not just revenues,” Maniego-Eala replied to The Daily Tribune when asked how much revenues they expect from the latest program.
Even before the launch of Globe traveler SIM program, Maniego-Eala said she already promotes the Philippines in her own way.
“I’m putting Philippine flag in my email, Instagram, twitter and FB account. I’m very proud to tell the world that I’m a Filipino,” she said.
She said every Filipino who went out of the country is qualified to avail themselves of the free SIM program.
“Whether they are high-end tourists, balikbayan, backpackers or OFWs, they are welcome to this program,” she added.

Security Bank earns P4.657B in 1H of ’15

Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00 Published in Business

Security Bank Corp. (SBC) posted P4.657 billion in net income in the first half of 2015, representing 29 percent year-on-year growth and 19 percent return on shareholders’ equity (ROE).
This result was driven by healthy growth in the bank’s core businesses, with loan growth of 20 percent year-on-year to P207 billion and deposit growth of 18 percent to P257 billion, which fuelled a 15 percent year-on-year increase in the bank’s total assets to P442 billion.
Loan growth was broad-based, with corporate/commercial loans growing by 18 percent while consumer loans surged by 90 percent.
The loan-to-deposit ratio was 81 percent. The return on assets (ROA) was 2.2 percent.
Interest income on loans increased by 17 percent year-on-year, which contributed to total interest income growth of 11 percent year-on-year.
Interest expense increased by 46 percent year-on-year, reflecting the expected effect of the longer-term funding that the ban issued such as the P10 billion Basel 3 compliant Tier 2 capital in July 2014 and the $300 million senior unsecured notes in February 2015.
As a result, net interest income was at P5.8 billion, same level as year-ago. Net interest margin was 3.2 percent in 1H-2015, versus the 3.4 percent average in 2014.
Non-interest income increased by 69 percent to P4.4 billion, which included extraordinary trading gain of P2.1 billion. Excluding extraordinary trading gain, non-interest income was P2.3 billion, 58 percent increase year-on-year.
Trading gains from trading portfolio and customer flows amounted to P906 million in 1H-2015. Fee-based income inclusive of asset management was P947 million, 11 percent increase year-on year.
The bank’s total operating income increased by 22 percent year-on-year to P10.2 billion. Operating expense (excluding provisions for credit losses and impairments) grew by 28 percent due to taxes incurred from the sale of securities in Q1-2015, and marketing and advertising expenses in support of the bank’s retail banking strategy.
Security Bank had a network of 257 branches and 532 ATMs as of June 30, 2015.
For the three-month period ended June 30, 2015, it earned P1.3 billion in net income. Interest income on loans increased by four percent quarter-on-quarter which contributed to the two percent quarter-on-quarter growth in total interest income.
Interest expense increased by three percent quarter-on-quarter. Net interest income during the quarter was P2.9 billion, up one percent quarter-on-quarter.
Non-interest income was P998 million, which included trading gains of P315 million from trading portfolio and customer flows business.
Operating expense (excluding provisions for credit losses and impairments) was down 10 percent quarter-on-quarter.
The bank’s asset quality remained healthy, with net NPL ratio at 0.14 percent as of June 2015 compared to 0.25 percent a year ago, among the lowest in the banking industry.
The bank provided P392 million in allowance for probable loan losses in 1H-2015. The NPL reserve cover was at 196 percent, among the highest in industry.
After the P1 per share in semestral cash dividends to shareholders in June 2015, Security Bank shareholders’ capital was at P51 billion, 16 percent increase year-on-year.
Bank president and chief executive officer Alfonso Salcedo Jr. said, “We are focused on the execution of our strategy aimed at growing our retail banking business into a strong third pillar complementing our strengths in wholesale banking and financial markets businesses.
Retail banking is a steady-growth, sustainable and higher margin business which is less volatile than cyclical businesses.”
Security Bank chief financial officer Joselito Mape said, “Our cost-to-income ratio is at 47% in 1H-2015. Our capital adequacy ratios under Basel 3 are sustained at healthy levels, with Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) at 13% and Total CAR at 16.5%.”

BdO building gains award

Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00 Published in Business

Banco de Oro (BdO) has won a new round of special citations this time from an organization of property development experts in the recently concluded Philippine Property Awards 2015.
The bank received the Best Commercial Development, Best Office Development and Best Office Architectural Design awards for the BdO Corporate Center Ortigas, a 47-story tower standing at the center of Metro Manila’s second busiest business district.
Edgar Basconcillo, VP for BdO’s Special Projects Management Department, attributed the win to the Tower’s “Grade A” quality, which is backed by its innovative and environment-friendly features.
The construction of the BdO Corporate Center Ortigas commenced in 2012 and is targeted for completion before the end of 2015.
It will house some of the bank’s major business segments such as consumer lending, leasing and finance, and remittance.
It is part of the grand development plan for the two-hectare prime commercial property located at the corner of ADB and Julia Vargas Avenues, which also includes the expansion of the upscale shopping mall The Podium, a second office tower and possibly another mixed-use edifice with hotel and service apartment components.

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