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US stocks slump as traders fear higher interest rates

Investor jitters over the possibility the Federal Reserve is ready to raise interest rates this year roiled Wall Street Friday, handing the stock market its worst day in more than two months. The Dow Jones industrial average sank nearly 400 points, its worst single-day loss since June. The broad slump wiped out two months of gradual gains, jolting the market out of a mostly flat course over the past several weeks. Phone and utilities stocks, which investors have sought out this year for their high dividends, fell far more than the rest of the market. Energy companies, which have also gained a lot this year, took a drubbing as the price of crude oil fell. Remarks by a Fed bank president early Friday fueled growing speculation among traders that the central bank could …

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Samsung urges consumers globally to stop using Galaxy Note 7

SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics is urging consumers worldwide to stop using Galaxy Note 7 smartphones immediately and exchange them as soon as possible, as more reports of the phones catching fire emerged even after the company's global recall. The call from the South Korean company, the world's largest smartphone maker, comes after U.S. authorities urged users to switch the Galaxy Note 7 off and not to use or charge it during a flight. Several airlines around the world asked travelers not switch on the jumbo smartphone or put it in checked baggage, with some carriers banning the phone on flights. In a statement posted Saturday on its website, Samsung asked users around the world to "immediately" return their existing Galaxy Note 7 and get a replacement. "We are asking users to …

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Vietnam to invest US$ 1.3-B to ease traffic congestion near int’ l airport

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Ho Chi Minh City plans to pour over 30 trillion Vietnamese dong (US$ 1.3 billion) into building flyover bridges, expanding roads, and constructing an elevated road to minimize traffic congestion at the gateway to its overloaded international airport Tan Son Nhat, the municipal Transport Department said Saturday. The airport is located deep in inner Ho Chi Minh City with only one gateway on Truong Son Road, and its maximum capacity is to serve 26.5 million passengers a year. It is predicted to serve over 30 million passengers this year. Among the potential projects totaling over 30 trillion Vietnamese dong, a project is expected to be implemented in 2017 to build a 9.5-km elevated road linking Tan Son Nhat international airport with the city's center, with investment of …

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EU finance ministers line up behind tax ruling against Apple

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The Dutch finance minister urged Apple on Saturday to "get ready" to pay up. Jeroen Dijsselbloem and his counterparts from other EU nations lined up behind a finding that the technology company owes billions of euros due to more than a decade of improperly low taxation. Apple's bill could reach 19 billion euros ($21 billion) with interest, and both the company and Ireland, Apple's European headquarters, are appealing the European Commission ruling. But as the last day of an EU finance ministers' meeting focused on ways to harmonize tax rules for multinational companies, Dijsselbloem told reporters that these "have an obligation to pay taxes in a fair way." "International tax loopholes are a thing of the past," said Dijsselbloem, who also heads the 19-strong group of nations within the EU using …

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Nissan, M’bishi firms to keep 51% stake in M’bishi Motors for a decade

TOKYO, Sept. 10 -- Nissan Motor Co. and three Mitsubishi group firms have agreed they will maintain their combined stakes in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. pegged at a minimum of 51 percent from October through the next decade to provide long-term, stable support to the carmaker mired in a data manipulation scandal, a source close to the matter said Saturday. Nissan, Japan's second-largest automaker by sales volume after Toyota Motor Corp., agreed in May to take a 34 percent chunk of Mitsubishi Motors for 237.3 billion yen (USD 2.3 billion) becoming the company's largest shareholder. Nissan initially planned to keep its holdings in the new partnership for three years under the deal, to be completed in October.

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PH businesses urged to go ‘green’ to boost competitiveness

JEJU ISLAND, S. Korea -- The Philippine government is encouraging more businesses to undertake initiatives that would improve environmental sustainability to strengthen their global competitiveness and enable them to penetrate more foreign markets. Lydia Guevarra, director of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Resource Generation and Management Service, said six pilot manufacturing sectors have already adopted greening industry roadmaps, including automotive and auto parts, pulp and paper, copper, mass housing, plastic and furniture. By greening their operations, Guevarra noted that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reduce their cost of production, especially electricity and water, thus generating higher profits for themselves. “In major markets abroad, for example, European Union (EU) and even United States, Australia, they adopt environmental standards. So if you don’t adopt those environmental standards, you can’t penetrate (these markets), you …

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ADB: Strict bank rules put a drag on business

Banks’ strict anti-money laundering and know-your-client (KYC) requirements are putting a drag on trade as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) revealed. In a statement, the Manila-based lender said that the inability of financial institutions to provide loans to buyers and sellers of goods across the region is due to the cost and complexity of compliance with banking regulations. According to the ADB briefer, 90 percent of surveyed banks cited that anti-money laundering and KYC rules as impediments to their ability to expand trade finance, especially for small businesses. Likewise, Basel III banking regulations, which set liquidity requirements for bank finance, are also cited by 77 percent of respondents as a major barrier to finance new trade. “The growth of the trade finance gap in 2015 continues to …

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HIMS sees $5-B revenue in 2022

Healthcare information management services (HIMS), a niche sector in the country’s booming business process outsourcing industry, aims to triple its revenues to over $5 billion and double its employment to 210,000 by 2022. Beng Coronel, president of the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP), said the growth goal will more than double its current employment at 100,000 and triple its 2015 revenues of $1.9 billion. “This is a conservative growth in revenue forecasted at 250 percent from $1.9 billion in 2015 and these figures were shown during last year’s conference,” according to Coronel. The HIMAP growth forecast will serve as key component in the crafting of the IT-BPM (business process management) Roadmap 2022. Coronel said the Philippine HIMS industry has seen remarkable progress since 2011, as service providers demonstrated a growing capability …

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Gov’t to consider unsolicited proposals

The Department of Finance (DOF) is considering unsolicited proposals from the private sector to help jumpstart the execution of capital-intensive infrastructure projects that create jobs and invigorate the economy. Finance Undersecretary Karen G. Singson said that government projects on improving public transport and logistics are among the Public Private Partnership (PPP) ventures that are open for unsolicited proposals. “The other policy that we’ve considered… and now looking into is unsolicited proposal and that is opening options for the government to enter into projects with the private sector,” Singson said in a statement. The finance official said that opening PPP ventures to unsolicited proposals would be a better option because it would allow the government to take advantage of the efficiency and technological innovations of the private sector. She said that it will also free …

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ASEAN sets Manila festival

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold a design festival and a regional meeting in Manila to develop and propagate master craft designers of export products from the region and regain their high marketability worldwide. The ASEAN Master Craft Design Festival will take place at ground floor of the World Trade Center on October 20-22 as one of the special features of the Manila FAME, the country’s premier international event for lifestyle exports. The festival will have a pavilion featuring the works of master craftsmen Roselyn Long Lah of Malaysia, Lim Masulin of Indonesia, Truong PhiDuc of Vietnam, Rush Pleansuk of Thailand, and Al Valenciano of the Philippines. The exhibit stand will be designed by Austria-educated Arch. Cosmas Gozali of Indonesia. In the same pursuit, a regional dialog and meeting will be …

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