NEWS IN BRIEF; P/$ Rate Closes at P54.03 to $1

Article excerpt

The peso rate closed lower at P54.030 to the US dollar at the Philippine Dealing System of the Bankers Association of the Philippines on Friday from R53.960 the previous day. The weighted average rate depreciated to P53.988 from P53.976.

Petrons Q1 profits seen up

Petron Corporation said its net profit for the first quarter will exceed the year-earliers R786 million because of the oil refiners cost controls and better export earnings. "First quarter 2005 is better than the same period last year because of cost controls we have implemented and exports growth," Petron chairman Nicasio Alcantara told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the refiners $100 million isomerization unit and gasoil hydrotreater facilities in Limay, Bataan, north of Manila. Alcantara did not provide figures, but said growth in earnings for the quarter was just single-digit. The net profit for the first quarter of 2004 was up 77 pct from the same period in 2003. "We do not see a double-digit growth in this industry," he said. Petrons net profit for the whole of 2004 came in at R3.45 billion, 11.3 percent higher than the previous year, on the back of higher sales volumes and export margins. Alcantara said Petrons first quarter results will be released on Tuesday.

BSM students top UK exams

Three British School Manila students are celebrating an extraordinary achievement. Joker Arroyo (daughter of Sen. Joker P. Arroyo), Farah Fard and Bonnie Wheeler were placed in the top 10 in the recent GCSE (General Curriculum Secondary Education) examinations, a public examination taken by all 16 year old students in the UK and British schools worldwide. The three were in the top 10 from over 5,500 students worldwide who took the exam in the summer of 2004. The three students, together with the rest of their year group, are now studying for the IB qualification at the school and are rightly proud of what they achieved. Our parents were elated and I have stuck the certificate on my wall! said Bonnie Wheeler one of the recipients of the award. The British School Manila, located in Fort Bonifacio, is aimed at all nationalities and provides a British education for children aged 3-18. This year, the school will be sending its first International Baccalaureate graduates to universities worldwide.

ANC to break even this year

The ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) expects a breakeven this year reversing its R40 million net loss in 2004, Peter Musngi vice president and managing director of ANC said. According to Musngi, ANC is in a much better financial position now and hopes to further improve its condition in the coming years. Musngi told reporters ANC will improve its financial standing through better cost efficiency and broader revenue streams. He added the re-launch of ANC this year should also boost its performance. …