Category: Inquirer

Fruitas doubling 2020 capex budget


While other companies are slashing their capital outlays due to the coronavirus pandemic, newly listed leading kiosk operator Fruitas Holdings Inc. is doubling its capital expenditure (capex) budget this year to expand its store footprint and delivery services, improve commissary and launch new concepts. Fruitas’ capex this year was set at P270 million, more than double last year’s outlays of P130 million, Fruitas chair and president Lester Yu said in a text message on Wednesday. As the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may cause stress on some retail businesses, Fruitas also seeks to evaluate attractive acquisition opportunities which may emerge. “Our business model–…

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Ayala Land may issue bonds, tap new loans to raise P19B


Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) plans to raise as much as P19 billion through a mix of new borrowings in the coming months, taking advantage of softening interest rates during this challenging macroeconomic environment to refinance older and costlier debt. “With benchmark rates approaching historical lows and the current system liquidity at close to double the level in 2019, we see an opportunity to further lower our borrowing costs while lengthening our debt maturity profile,” ALI chief financial officer Augusto Bengzon said on Wednesday. ALI obtained approval from its board of directors to raise this amount through the issuance of retail bonds and/or corporate notes for list…

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PSEi moves up as investors anticipate NCR’s reopening


Shares of Lopez-led First Gen Corp. sizzled at the local stock market on Wednesday following a tender offer at a premium price made by a unit of American private equity firm KKR. First Gen outperformed the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), which added 26.95 points or 0.49 percent to close at 5,523.78. The Singapore-based unit of KKR, Valorous Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd., offered to acquire for investment purposes at least 6 percent to as much as 9 percent of First Gen’s shares at the price of P22.50 per share. This represented a 35.05 percent premium over the three-month volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of First Gen, and a 19.23 percent premium over the six-month V…

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Interest in ‘Suicide Squad’ edit grows after Snyder Cut greenlit


After “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” was announced for Warner Bros’ streaming service HBO Max, attention has turned to the possibility of an alternative cut for another DC Extended Universe entry, 2016’s “Suicide Squad”. Ever since the release of superhero ensemble movie “Justice League”, there’s been interest in its director’s original, extended edit. Warner Bros is in the process of granting that wish through subsidiary video streaming service HBO Max. With HBO Max launching for a United States audience this week, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is anticipated for completion in 2021. Now it seems that “Suicide Squad” director David Ayer would like to see his 2016 supervilla…

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MMA legend Vitor Belfort lauds Mike Tyson comeback attempt


MANILA, Philippines — From one legendary fighter to another, Vitor Belfort lauded Mike Tyson as the former undisputed heavyweight champion attempts a comeback fight 15 years since hanging up his boxing gloves. Tyson has been one of the most talked about athletes the past several weeks ever since he spoke about his willingness to fight again for charity last month. “I think that (to fight again) is a decision Mike has made for himself. It takes a lot of courage to step back in the ring, especially at that age. I admire him for his bravery and wish him the best of luck,” said Belfort, the former UFC light heavyweight champion who is now signed with ONE Championship. “He need…

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Empty Japan stadiums could soon hear the sound of app-lause


A new Japanese smartphone app will allow fans to send virtual cheers and jeers to sports stadiums in the hope of creating atmosphere at matches played behind closed doors due to coronavirus. Instrument maker Yamaha said its remote cheering system will let users tap buttons on the app to deliver cheers — or boos — via dozens of speakers placed inside grounds. Event organizers can pre-set various types of cheers and jeers, and change the intensity levels depending on the number of users pressing their buttons — aiming to replicate the roar when a goal or home run is scored. Even when a live audience is permitted, fans may still use the app to prevent potentially coronavirus…

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Iran’s president pushes for harsher laws on honor killings


TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s president urged his Cabinet on Wednesday to speed up harsher laws in so-called honor killings after a particularly disturbing slaying of a 14-year-old girl by her father shocked the nation. President Hassan Rouhani pushed for speedy adoption of relevant bills, some of which have apparently shuttled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran. The killing of teen Romina Ashrafi in the Iranian town of Talesh, some 320 kilometers (198 miles) northwest of the capital, Tehran, prompted a nationwide outcry. She was reportedly beheaded while sleeping by her father, Reza Ashrafi, who used a farming sickle to kill his daughter. The father, who is no…

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Trump threatens social media after Twitter fact-checks him


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened social media companies with new regulation or even shuttering after Twitter moved a day earlier to add fact checks to two of his tweets. Claiming tech giants “silence conservative voices,” Trump said, “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.” And he repeated his unsubstantiated claim — which sparked his latest showdown with Silicon Valley — that expanding mail-in voting “would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots.” The president can’t unilaterally regulate or close social media companies, as such moves would require action by Congress o…

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