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Kick start your day, March 8: Scam, GMO, election

Here's a roundup of the news on PH stock exchange, genetically-modified organism, and S&P's outlook post-May 2016 election.
By Entrepreneur Staff |



BULLISH. Standard & Poor's is optimistic that the next Philippine administration would continue the key economic reforms that have been proven beneficial to the country. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Stock market investors allegedly scammed by broker

Help from the National Bureau of Investigation was sought by victims of a former local bourse broker, who allegedly flee with about P100 million worth of their investment (about $2.13 million per exchange rate Monday, March 7).



Jose Cecilio “Jay” Peñaflor, formerly Philippine Stock Exchange’s (PSE) assistant head of market education, is believed to have taken such amount of money from the investors to apparently invest such in various legitimate stocks. A group of these investors alone invested P30 million, coursed through Peñaflor, The Philippine Star reported on Monday.


The broadsheet cited that in a chance interview with PSE President Hans B. Sicat, he cited that the local bourse conducted a check on its accredited brokers “and none was found to be involved in Peñaflor’s allegedly fraudulent schemes.”


PSE issued an advisory in December 2015, stating that the any transaction made by him on behalf of the local bourse will not be honored by such companies.


Peñaflor, who has not been connected with PSE since 2013, is credited as one of the “chief architects of the bourse’s projects such as the Academy Website, television-radio-print campaigns, the bull run, financial and investment literacy roadshows, and the integrated viral education strategy, which became key to the market education campaign,” The Philippine Star wrote.



The broadsheet, citing industry sources, reported that Peñaflor was arrested by NBI agents last week, prompted by complaints from his alleged victims. He was later released for unclear reasons.



PH approves new GMO rules

Reuters reported on Monday that the Philippines approved a new set of rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), “providing relief to farmers and importers worried that any delay would spark a food crisis.”


In December, the Supreme Court in December stopped the issuance of fresh permits for planting or importing genetically modified crops until the new rules were in place. Such ruling put in limbo nearly 1 million corn farmers and buyers of GM soybean meal, “the Philippines' top GMO import,” Reuters noted.


Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Chief Merle Palacpac told Reuters that five Cabinet officials had signed the rules as of Monday, and such rules will be forwarded to the agriculture department. The rules are eyed to take effect by April this year.




S&P optimistic on PH despite election

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) expressed optimism that the key economic reforms instituted by the current administration would be continued by the next leader of the country, the Philippines’ Investor Relations Office said in a statement Monday.


Related: Presidentiables square off in televised debate

S&P’s Sovereign Debt Committee chair John Chambers during the Philippines Business and Investment Forum (PBIF) held in New York on March 3 that the agency’s assumption is that the change in leadership is unlikely to reverse the economic reforms in the Philippines. PBIF is set to attract US investments into the country.


Chambers added that whoever wins the presidential election in May is unlikely to initiate a reversal of the existing economic and business policy environment, which has proven beneficial for the Philippines.


S&P gave the Philippines a rating of "BBB"—a notch above the minimum investment grade, with a “stable” outlook.



Such sentiment of S&P’s Chambers was echoed by the US-Philippines Society, an organization of business and civic leaders from the US and the Philippines. Its member, retired Ambassador John F. Maisto said that "any incoming administration is expected to keep the good economic policies." – Lynda C. Corpuz

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