NEWS IN BRIEF; P/$ Rate Closes at P55.985

Article excerpt

The peso closed higher at P55.985 to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing System of the Bankers Association of the Philippines from P56.01 the previous day. The weighted average rate appreciated to P56.022 from P56.085. Total volume amounted to $156.5 million.

BSP seen keeping rates steady

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may decide to keep overnight interest rates steady at todays policy-setting meeting, the monetary regulators deputy governor, Amando Tetangco Jr. said. The key interest rates, which banks use to price loans, are at 6.75 percent for borrowing and 9.00 percent for lending. "Actual inflation is still within the target (for the year). Although there have been interest rate hiked abroad, we still have a relatively comfortable interest rate differential," Tetangco said. The BSP expects inflation in July to hit between 5.3 percent to 5.9 percent, pulled higher by the rise in prices due to the transport fare and oil price increase in June. The consumer price index stood at 4.1 percent year-onyear at end-June, still within the 4 percent to 5 percent full-year target of the government, despite a 5.1 percent year-on-year rise in January due to higher oil prices.

NTC eyes new frequency rules

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is considering new rules for frequency allocations of fixed wireless access systems under two band widths ranging from 3400 3600 megahertz (MHz) and 10.15 10.65 Mhz. The new frequency allocations will be the subject of a public hearing next week, August 4, 2004 at the NTC headquarters in Quezon City, according to Commissioner Ronald O. Solis. NTC is mandated to promote and sustain a healthy competitive telecommunications environment and the commission recognizes that fixed wireless access (FWA) systems in the range of 3400 3600 megahertz (MHz) and 10.15 10.65 Mhz can provide enhanced telephony and data services. Furthermore, a flexible block (sub-band) arrangement, rather than the conventional point-to-point channel arrangement can accommodate various FWA technologies at the same time be efficient. Also, a standardized block width might offer benefits through economies of scale and simplified inter-system and interoperator frequency planning in the same deployment area, NTC noted. …