January 19, 2021

Business strategy

Rescue teams in Indonesia are gearing up for day two of their search for the missing Boeing Co. jet carrying 62 people that at least one agency has characterized as a crash after uncovering debris that are “strongly suspected” to be part of Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182.

The plane lost radio contact shortly after taking off from Jakarta Saturday afternoon. The country’s search agency said the debris found in the Java Sea is similar to those circulating earlier on social media, and its efforts Sunday will include both air and sea, and also underwater. A local news organization said authorities received a report of a plane crashing on a nearby uninhabited island in an area north of the capital city.

The likely accident has once again pushed the nation’s aviation industry into crisis mode. The Southeast Asian nation has had a spate of plane crashes in the past decade, including … Read the rest


By Beatrice M. Laforga, Reporter

Foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines in October fell to the lowest level in six months, amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections overseas, according to the central bank.

FDI net inflows shrank by a quarter to $423 million from $561 million a year earlier, the second straight month of yearly decline, according to data sent by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno via Viber on Friday.

The October inflows were the lowest since $314 million in April, when many parts of the country and the rest of the world were locked down at the height of the pandemic.

Restrictions have been eased since the second half of last year, but local quarantine and physical distancing measures remain.

“The slowdown in FDI during the month may be attributed in part to concerns over the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the … Read the rest


International media group Capital Business Media has relocated its UK content marketing and SEO division to Ireland in response to the UK’s exit from the EU on January 1st.

The group, owners of the Business Matters magazine and this website, which also has offices in London and New York, will now deal with all client content marketing and SEO needs through a new Irish company, Inscriptio.

The decision to relocate the division to Ireland was made to ensure that there are no compliance and GDPR issues in line with the UK now not being covered by EU Data Protection and GDPR laws.

As part of the new trade deal, the EU did agree to delay data transfer restrictions for at least another four months. This enables personal data to flow freely from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK.

However, at the end of this four-month window, … Read the rest


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Parler, a social media haven for Trump supporters, has been awash in violent rhetoric since the U.S. Capitol mayhem on Wednesday. Some users have lauded the rioters as “patriots,” and suggesting that the “war” isn’t over.

On Friday,Apple threatened to boot the social network from its App Store within 24 hours if it doesn’t clean up its service. Meanwhile, Google suspended Parler from its Google Play app store, saying it won’t reinstate the service until the violent comments are removed.

Parler’s traffic rose rapidly last year after Twitter and Facebook started more aggressively labeling and removing posts because of misinformation, discrimination, and incitement to violence. As a result, Trump supporters, including high-profile conservatives like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity, and conservative … Read the rest


Beyond cashless payments and transactions, GCash widens access to various financial services

From taking its initial steps, the adoption of cashless payments and transactions has taken full speed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, as more consumers use digital financial services to transact safely and efficiently, GCash has taken the lead to bring in more Filipinos towards the benefits and conveniences of going cashless.

During an online forum in the World Fintech Festival Martha Sazon, president and chief executive officer of Mynt, the operator of GCash and chairman of the EMoney Association of the Philippines, shared that this year saw the financial service getting closer to realizing its vision of ‘finance for all’.

“People who have never thought of using cashless payments before suddenly [learned to use it], resulting in massive registrations. In response, we empowered them to transact using their mobile [to] pay for essentials and … Read the rest


Stationery chain Paperchase is on the brink of administration amid struggling sales.

The high street chain said it has filed a notice to appoint administrators.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers will run the process, Paperchase said.

The company, which has some 127 sites and about 1,500 employees, said coronavirus restrictions had put an “unbearable strain” on the business.

November’s lockdown came at a critical time for Paperchase, which is not classed as essential retail and therefore had to close its stores.

About 40 per cent of the firm’s annual sales are made in the Christmas period between November and December, according to the firm.

A spokesperson for Paperchase said: “The cumulative effects of lockdown one, lockdown two – at the start of the Christmas shopping period – and now the current restrictions, have put unbearable strain on retail businesses across the country.”

It launched a company voluntary arrangement in March 2019 in … Read the rest


Boeing Co. agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle criminal charges that it defrauded the U.S. government by concealing information about the ill-fated 737 Max that was involved in two fatal crashes.

The U.S. planemaker entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in the Northern District of Texas on Thursday, the Justice Department said in a press release.

“The tragic crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 exposed fraudulent and deceptive conduct by employees of one of the world’s leading commercial airplane manufacturers,” Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement.

Boeing shares fell less than 1% to $211.26 after the close of regular trading in New York.

A design flaw in the Max helped lead to the two crashes within about five months in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people. Several investigative reports have found that the … Read the rest


The shift to online classes, self-learning modules, and television and radio programs has proven extremely challenging in a country of 108 million where less than a fifth of households have Internet access and many lack mobile devices. Image via PhilStar

Since the pandemic forced him into remote learning, 10-year-old Jhay Ar Calma has often had to climb on to the corrugated iron roof of his home in a poor neighborhood of Manila to get Internet service.

Up on the roof, he sits on a broken plastic basin and hopes there’ll be a signal strong enough for his government-issued device.

“Sometimes we change the SIM card to a different provider so he doesn’t have to study on the roof, but there’s rarely enough money to spare for that,” Mr. Calma’s mother Jonalyn Parulan told Reuters.

Hopes for a return to classrooms this month have been dashed after President Rodrigo R. Duterte Read the rest


British Gas engineers will launch a five-day strike from Thursday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Thousands of staff could walk out in response to an attempt by the firm to push through pay cuts by threatening to fire workers, union GMB has said.

It accused Centrica, which owns British Gas, of provoking the strike, which it said would cause “massive disruption”.

Centrica said it would prioritise vulnerable households and emergencies during the walkout.

In a statement, GMB national secretary Justin Bowden said the actions of British Gas had “tarnished” its reputation.

“The use of fire and rehire threats has been condemned across the political spectrum and caused huge anger among this dedicated workforce,” he said.

He also suggested that the strike would cause “massive disruption to customers in the depths of winter”.

A Centrica spokeswoman said: “We’ve done everything we can with the GMB to avoid industrial action.… Read the rest


One day after U-turning on its late-December decision to delist three Chinese telecom companies from its exchange, the New York Stock Exchange U-turned again on Wednesday and announced it would, after all, delist the three companies.

“If you are confused, so am I and it seems like the dying days of the Trump Administration will feature more last shots at China, like the Alipay ban yesterday,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note, referring to a Trump executive order that banned U.S. transactions with eight digital Chinese payment platforms, including Ant Group’s Alipay.

Shares in the Chinese telecoms—China Mobile, China Unicom Hong Kong and China Telecom—were dragged along for the ride, plunging as much as 5% on Monday, regaining lost ground on Tuesday, and falling again Wednesday. Trading in the three companies in the U.S. will be halted as of Jan. 11.

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