Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Economic Slow Down in America How it Affected the Philippines and the World

It was a sad thought that the economic slowdown and recession in the United States not only affected our local real estate developers but the independent real estate firms selling to the once rich market of people with higher credit score and higher net disposable income. So everyone in America especially the baby boomers (those who were born in the 1940's or after World War II) who are about to retire by now or in a few years time and even the middle class Americans.

Once and for all, I have to shift our firm's attention to other markets in the world where there are lots of Filipinos working overseas. A good example of market is the European and Middle East wherein there are great concentration of Pinoys migrant workers in those areas. This was admitted by Rex Mendoza, Ayala Land, Inc vice president for sales and marketing (see article, Manila Times). Right now most of those real estate developers are also tapping the Asia-Pacific market another place to look and scour at is the first world countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia wherein there are also a great number of Filipino immigrants there who may want to invest here in the Philippines.

It is definitely a fact that the Philippines and other asian countries as well especially with China rely with the U.S. market with their massive export capability of goods and the European Union is second. Last year, some of the China made goods were removed from the shelves due to complaints from customers and findings from government agencies regarding their safety. It was found that most of their products do not comply to international standards and health hazard for children. Lots of these products especially toys were pooled out of the U.S. market early last year.

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) related with call center and medical transcription companies are feeling the pinch of subprime mortgage crisis (see article, Times UK) in America, as most of these companies heavily rely in U.S. dollars and also the U.S. markets. U.S. $ dollars have been for the past few months is breaking even against the dollar. However, it is now risen its value after loosing its value from P40.00 to US$ 1.00 but as of this writing the pesos is against the dollar at P 41.00 to US$ 1.00. Multinational BPOs from U.S. who have moved their operations here in the Philippines and India are loosing ground due to the loss of customers and closure of some U.S. based companies due to recession meaning alot of people are being laid off from work in the America.

Last week, I was watching CNN when I stumbled upon Union Bank of Switzerland having problems. I was totally shocked on seeing Union Bank of Switzerland, one of the best and biggest banks in Europe (see article, BBC CO UK) lose US$ 34.8 Billion due to the subprime mortgage and credit crunch. UBS is experiencing dire straits after heavily investing in U.S. real estate properties which have rapidly declined in value for the past few months since last year. It was tragic. Lots of investors have lost confidence on the annual stockholders meeting last week in Zurich (see UBS has doubled its subprime writedowns).

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