What are the Best Business Grad Schools in the Philippines?

By Pauline Macaraeg

If hotels have their stars, business schools have their palmes, handed out by Eduniversal, a global higher education ranking agency based in Paris, France. It has developed an evaluation system that classifies what it considers the world’s 1,000 best business schools in 154 countries into five categories.

The top category, the 5 Palmes of Excellence, is given to schools considered “universal business school with strong global influence”. Examples include Harvard Business School, Yale School of Management and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The lowest category, 1 Palme of Excellence, is awarded to a “business school with considerable local influence.”

Eduniversal’s latest rankings for 2016 included six business schools in the Philippines. These were led by the Asian Institute of Management, one of Asia’s first graduate business schools, which was awarded 4 Palmes, signifying it was considered a “top business school with significant international influence.” (See infographic for the names of the other five business schools in the list.)

Each year, Eduniversal selects the best 1,000 business schools worldwide. An 11-member International Scientific Committee, composed of two Eduniversal executives and nine independent higher education experts, classifies the schools into any of the five categories of excellence. The committee considers the extent of the schools’ “internationalization” by examining their accreditations, major rankings and memberships in academic associations.

After all of the business schools have been divided into the five categories, the deans of the 1,000 business schools are then asked to rate the other schools by listing what they thought are the best business schools in each of countries covered by the rankings.

Lend At Least Php5,000 to the Gov’t for 3 Years and Earn 4.25% p.a.

By Elyssa Christine Lopez

The Philippine government is selling three-year Retail Treasury Bonds (RTBs) that will pay an annual interest rate of 4.25 percent in a bid to encourage regular bank depositors to diversify to higher-yielding investment instruments with a longer holding period.

For a minimum of Php5,000, Philippine residents with a bank account can buy the RTBs and effectively lend money for three years to the government, which will pay the annual interest in quarterly installments between April 2017 and April 2020. After three years, the government will return the principal to the RTB holder.

According to the Bureau of Treasury, the first step for interested investors is to inquire at your bank of choice if they are offering the RTBs. If the bank offers the bonds, the next step is to accomplish the necessary forms, provide the other required documents and have the documents notarized.

The payment for the bonds is rather easy because it will be automatically deducted from your bank account. Similarly, the quarterly interest earnings for the bonds will also be automatically credited to your bank account. Those without deposit accounts must first open one with the bank of their choice.

Interested investors have only until April 6, 2017 to buy the RTBs, according to the Bureau of Treasury, which began offering the bonds last March 28. Investor interest in the RTBs is quite high. Banks who participated in the auction to set the bond’s coupon rate last March 28 offered to buy up to Php70 billion of the bonds, more than double the Php30 billion initially set by the government. The banks are reselling the bonds to the public.

The government regularly sells bonds to raise money to finance its operations and infrastructure projects, but the ongoing RTB offering is special because it was designed to appeal to small individual savers and encourage them to start investing in long-term instruments.

“We want more Filipinos to get into the habit of investing, and become more financially aware of how their money could work harder for them,” National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said in a statement.

The new three-year RTB’s coupon of 4.25 percent rate is higher than 3.5-percent yield on the first RTBs offered under the Duterte administration in September 2016, which had a longer maturity of 10 years or until September 2026.

The new RTB also pays more than the average rate of 3.12 percent for time deposits of more than one year in February,based on data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Some corporate bonds with a three-year tenor also pay a coupon rate of only four percent, according to data from the Philippine Dealing System. Many corporate bonds also require higher minimum investment placements of at least Php50,000 and pay interest only twice a year.

First Metro Investment Corp. and Land Bank of the Philippines serve as the joint lead issue managers for this round of RTBs. BDO Capital & Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., Development Bank of the Philippines, China Bank Capital Corp. and SB Capital Corp. are the joint issue managers.

The RTBs will be available through any of the 17 qualified selling agents: BDO Universal Bank, BDO Capital & Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., China Banking Corp., Citibank, CTBC Bank (Philippines) Corp., Development Bank of the Philippines, First Metro Investment Corp., ING Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Philippine Bank of Communications, Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Security Bank Corp., Standard Chartered Bank and United Coconut Planters Bank.