News in Brief

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Peso appreciates to P40.867

The peso appreciated against the U.S. dollar to P40.867, the weighted average rate pegged at the Philippine Dealing System of the Bankers Association of the Philippines yesterday, from P40.915 the previous day. The local currency closed at P40.87. Volume amounted to $252.6 million.

Share prices climb 2%

Local share prices rose two percent yesterday on selective buying of blue chips. "We were all surprised by this rally, it seems there is selective buying on some issues," said Astro del Castillo of A and A Securities, Inc. The Philippine Stock Exchange composite index gained 33.67 points to close at 1,680.58. Volume turnover was "not that impressive" at 4.088 billion shares worth P2.24 billion from Wednesday's 6.979 billion shares worth P2.20 billion, he added. (AFP)

PLDT, NTT firm up deal

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp will formalize an agreement today to form a strategic partnership, where NTT will inject P14.7 billion in the local telephone firm, PLDT said. It said the deal will be signed between PLDT president Manuel Pangilinan and NTT president Junichiro Miyazu at the presidential palace. Under the deal, NTT will acquire 15 percent of PLDT while controlling shareholder First Pacific Group will raise its stake in PLDT to 22.8 percent from 17.5 percent. The deal also involves PLDT's acquisition of Smart Communications via a share swap.

SBGFC caretaker named

Trade and Industry Secretary Mar A. Roxas II recently designated Ma. Pina C. Yonzon as the official caretaker of the Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation (SBGFC). Yonzon has devoted her entire career life government service having served for 18 years in the fields of trade and industry, small and medium enterprises (SME) policy and export development. …