World lost equivalent of 255 million jobs in 2020: UN

  by Nina LARSON Agence France Presse The coronavirus pandemic took a huge toll on global jobs last year, the United Nations said Monday, with the equivalent of more than a quarter of a billion lost. In a fresh study, the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) found that a full 8.8 percent of global working hours were lost in 2020, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. That is equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs, […]

Asia welcomes Biden presidency with healthy gains

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets saw Joe Biden’s first day as US president with broad gains Thursday as investors look forward with optimism about his economic and Covid-19 recovery plans. Soon after being sworn in, Biden signed more than a dozen executive orders unwinding some of his predecessor’s policies, including rejoining the World Health Organization that observers say will help in the fight against the devastating disease. He also signed back up […]

Makati Shangri-La hotel temporarily closes on Feb. 1 as pandemic hits hard

  (Eagle News) – After almost 30 years of operation, Makati Shangri-La Hotel will be temporarily closing operations starting February 1 as the hotel chain is hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Vice-President for Operations (Philippines) of the Shangri-La Group John Rice said that throughout the “unprecedented pandemic” in the last 10 months, their priority has been to “preserve as many jobs as possible for our […]

UK inflation jumps in December

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s annual inflation rate jumped in December partly on higher transport costs as Covid restrictions temporarily eased, official data showed Wednesday. The rate, as measured by the UK’s Consumer Prices Index, rose to 0.6 percent last month from 0.3 percent in November, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. Analysts’ consensus forecasts had been for a rise to 0.5 percent. “Transport costs… as well as petrol prices rose […]

Singapore’s virus-hit economy suffers worst decline in 2020

  SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore’s economy suffered its worst ever annual contraction in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hammered the city-state’s vital trade and tourism sectors, official data showed Monday. But the 5.8 percent decline was not as bad as feared — official forecasts had predicted a fall of up to 6.5 percent — as economic activity picked up with the easing of curbs. The financial hub plunged into its first recession since the 2008 […]

Telegram messaging app to launch pay-for services in 2021

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Encrypted messaging app Telegram will launch pay-for services in 2021, its Russian-born founder Pavel Durov said Wednesday, as the growing company needed “at least a few hundred million dollars per year”. “Telegram will begin to generate revenue, starting next year,” Durov said in a statement. “We will be able to launch countless new features and welcome billions of new users.” Durov, 36, said he did not plan to sell the […]

Strong virus response helps Vietnam’s economy weather pandemic

by Alice Philipson and Tran Thi Minh Ha HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — A strong response to the coronavirus pandemic, surging exports and healthy public spending have helped Vietnam buck a global recession in 2020 and fast-track its recovery, with analysts predicting it will likely enjoy one of the highest growth rates in the world. But the pain is not over for some sectors with containment measures and border disruptions hammering the country’s tourism industry, and […]

Japan business confidence improves again after virus plunge

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Confidence among major Japanese manufacturers has recovered further after plunging on pandemic woes to its worst level since the global financial crisis, a key survey showed Monday. The Bank of Japan’s December Tankan business survey — a quarterly poll of about 10,000 companies — showed a reading of minus 10 among big manufacturers, after recording minus 27 in the previous survey and minus 34 in the June survey. The latest figure […]

Globe myBusiness holds online thanksgiving to honor MSME journey

Due to the pandemic, MSMEs have experienced dwindling sales and closures, both permanent and temporary.  According to the Philippine Enterprise Survey conducted by Asian Development Bank, most MSMEs have run out of cash and savings, and may have postponed or cancelled their corporate parties or holiday bonuses to save money. With the COVID-19 crisis, MSMEs are very mindful of their cash flow to ensure the survival of their business. Expressing its understanding of the needs […]

Wealth of US billionaires soars during pandemic

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — America’s billionaires have seen their wealth rise by more than $1 trillion since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study Wednesday, fueling a debate about higher taxes on the rich. The collective wealth of the 651 billionaires in the United States soared from $2.95 trillion on March 18 to $4.01 billion on Monday, said the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF). […]

China mulls joining trade pact dumped by Trump: Xi

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — China will consider joining a free trade pact once championed by the US but abandoned by Donald Trump, President Xi Jinping said Friday, as Beijing increasingly seeks to influence the global rules of commerce. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is an updated version of a giant deal originally backed by former US president Barack Obama as an effort to counter China’s rising might in Asia. Trump […]

Australia exits first recession in almost 30 years

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia has exited its first recession in almost 30 years, after official figures on Wednesday showed the economy grew 3.3 percent in July-September compared with the coronavirus-hit previous quarter. With local transmission of Covid-19 largely under control, official data showed businesses have begun to rebound and consumer spending has surged. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said household spending largely drove the economic bounce, rising 7.9 percent compared with the previous quarter. […]