Pacific Tensions Set to Intensify

The simmering tension in the South China Sea may intensify in the coming weeks, and although this is no immediate market reaction, there could be going forward.  Last week Japan indicated that it will formally register 280 islands it claims as part of its territory. Many of these are very small islands and some don’t even […]

Emerging Markets: What Has Changed?

This is what has changed in the EM space, in our view: 1) Brazil is hiking, but reluctantly 2) Turkey is cutting, and resolutely 3) China will further relax the FX trading band 4) Philippines will further relax FX trading limits 5) Korea announces a big stimulus package 6) Colombia announces a medium stimulus package […]

The Philippines as a BRIC Successor

Recently, the BRICS nations met in South Africa. Due to severe debt crises in the advanced nations, the growth prospects in these economies are no longer immune to the turmoil in the West. Among the emerging economies, the Philippines is best-placed for an upgrade. It is favorably positioned to sustain growth in an exceptionally grim […]

Philippines’ Electronics and Automotive Industries Feel the Aftershocks from the Tohoku Earthquake

The Philippines’ export recovery barreled on through 2010 on the back of strong demand for electronics, helping to shrink the trade deficit to US$3.3 billion. Through 2010, electronics remained the top import and export by value, comprising 34.6% of total imports and 59.89% of total exports. The devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Northeastern Japan […]

2010 Philippines Elections: Ready, Steady, Go…?

On February 9, 2010, the official 90-day campaign for election in the Philippines will commence.  With current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of the running because of term limits, the race for the Philippine presidency is currently wide open. 

With at least 10 officially registered presidential candidates, the sprint for the presidency will be fast and furious. The presidential pelaton includes: Vetellano Acosta (New Society Movement party), Benigno Cojuangco-Aquino (Liberal), John Carlos de los Reyes (Ang Kapatiran), Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan-VNP), Jamby Madrigal (Independent), Nicanor Perlas (Independent), Gilberto Teodoro (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), Eddie Villanueva (Bagong Pilipinas), Manuel Villar (Nacionalista).  The early breakaway consists of former Philippine Senator Manuel Villar and  Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who is currently serving in the Philippine Senate. The impeached but now pardoned former President Joseph Estrada, and Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr., former National Secretary of Defense, round out the lead pack.   With a history of weak political parties, personality politics and celebrity usually winnow the field of “Presidentiables.”

Automated Elections Do Not Automatically Make Philippines a Democracy

The Philippines will hold its first automated general elections ever in May 2010. However, automation doesn’t guarantee fair elections. Does Florida in the 2000 U.S. elections ring a bell? Diebold may be gone now (it sold off its voting machine business to Election Systems & Software), but its competitors seem just as shady. And one of them is working to automate the Philippines’ voting system: Smartmatic, an Amsterdam-registered, Florida-based firm which formed a consortium with Filipino firm Total Information Management to provide voting machines and technical support to the COMELEC (Philippines Commission on Elections).