NEWS IN BRIEF; Peso Closed at P53.55.(Business)

Article excerpt

The peso closed at P53.55 to the US dollar last Friday at the Philippine Dealing System of the Bankers Association of the Philippines. The weighted average rate stands at P53.374.

Lenders OK NPC debt transfer

The commercial creditors of state-owned National Power Corp. have approved the transfer of the utilitys debts to the agency in charge of its privatization, a senior government official said Friday. Edgardo Del Fonso, President of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., or Psalm, said bilateral and multilateral creditors, however, have yet to give their go signal for the transfer of Napocors debts. Del Fonso said commercial loans account for about a fifth of Napocors debts, while bilateral and multilateral lenders account for half of its total obligations. Napocor has total debts of $6.8 billion at the end of September. Del Fonso said lenders such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation want certain issues resolved first, such as how the privatization of the National Transmission Corp. would be realized and whether Congress would grant it a transferrable franchise. Transco handles Napocors transmission assets. The government has originally planned to have Napocors assets and liabilies transferred to Psalm early this year.

BIR postpones auction

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ordered the postponement of the scheduled auction sale of forfeited acquired real properties which was supposedly on December 17, amidst request by perspective buyers to give them more time to visit the properties for sale and study their options. BIR commissioner Guillermo Parayno, Jr. said that while the need to earn additional revenues from the auction sale is immediate, we cannot help but postpone indefinitely the holding of such to give our prospective buyers the time and preparations they needed. Properties included in the sale are scattered in the nine regional offices of BIR-Calasiao, Pangasinan; Valenzuela City; Makati City; San Pablo City; Legaspi City; Bacolod City; Butuan City; and Davao City. Parayno said anyone could join the bidding except foreign nationals and corporations which are prohibited by the Philippine Constitution and laws to own real estate properties in the country and those disqualified under existing rules and regulations. …