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AI-driven recruitment seen to boost competitiveness

AI-driven recruitment seen to boost competitiveness

Companies need to explore creative ways to make the recruitment process more personalized, swift, and efficient to be competitive, a hiring platform said. 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is seen to improve the efficiency and personalization of the job recruitment process, Southeast Asian chat-first career platform Bossjob said in an e-mailed press release on Wednesday. 

The technology enhances “matching accuracy for both parties, reduces information asymmetry, and improves recruitment efficiency,” said the AI-powered career platform, which matches job seekers to fitting opportunities and employers.

Kimberly Chen, country manager at Bossjob, said that technology must be integrated with human potential “towards making the recruitment process more personalized, swift, and efficient.”  

Bossjob has announced a plan to offer more than 1,000 job openings catered to by over 70 top Philippine and local Chinese companies spanning different industries at its job fair in October.

According to the national statistics agency, the unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in June from 4.3% in May but decreased from the 6% seen in June 2022.

The underemployment rate increased to 12% in June from 11.7% in May, although it was lower than 12.6% in June 2022. 

There are 2.9 million registered Filipino users of the platform, with services offered for free this year in an effort to expand to the global market, Bossjob said. 

After launching in Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia, the company aims to reach 30 million users in Southeast Asia by 2026. 

Bossjob will host its 2nd Filipino-Chinese Job Fair 2023 on October 15 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola

#AIdriven #recruitment #boost #competitiveness

China factory output, retail sales beat forecasts in boost to recovery prospects

China factory output, retail sales beat forecasts in boost to recovery prospects

 – China‘s industrial output and retail sales grew at a faster-than-expected pace in August, but property investment slumped further and could drag on broader demand even as the recent flurry of support policies showed signs of stabilizing the economy.

Industrial output, released on Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), rose 4.5% in August from a year earlier, accelerating from the 3.7% pace seen in July and came above expectations for a 3.9% increase in a Reuters poll of analysts. The growth marked the quickest pace since April.

Retail sales, a gauge of consumption, also increased at a faster 4.6% pace in August aided by the summer travel season, and was the quickest growth since May. That compared with a 2.5% increase in July, and an expected 3% increase.

The upbeat data suggest that a flurry of recent measures including property support policies to shore up a faltering economic recovery are starting to bear fruit.

Reacting to the data, the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS touched two-week high against dollar.

Yet, the recovery is far from sure-footed, analysts say.

“Despite signs of stabilization in manufacturing and related investment, the deteriorating property investment will continue to pressure economic growth,” said Gary Ng, Natixis Asia Pacific senior economist.

Friday’s data followed better-than-expected bank lending figures, narrowing in the declines of exports and imports as well as easing deflationary pressure.

The country’s passenger vehicle sales also returned to growth in August from a year earlier, as deeper discounts and tax breaks for environmentally friendly and electric vehicles boosted consumer sentiment.

To sustain the recovery momentum, China‘s central bank said on Thursday it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves for the second time this year to boost liquidity. Earlier in the day, the bank also rolled over maturing medium-term policy loans to inject more liquidity into the finiancial system, while keeping the interest rate unchanged.

But analysts say more fiscal and monetary policy steps are needed as an ailing property sector, high youth unemployment, uncertainty around household consumption and rising Sino-US tensions over trade, technology and geopolitics have raised the bar for a durable economic recovery in the near future.

Ng said confidence remains the root of most problems requiring larger “constructive policy and regulatory changes” to boost growth momentum.

The once mighty property sector still remains a drag on the $18 trillion economy, with the country’s largest private developer Country Garden the latest to stumble due to liquidity squeeze.

For August, property investment extended its fall, down 19.1% year-on-year from a 17.8% slump the previous month, according to Reuters calculations based on NBS data.

Moody’s on Thursday cut China‘s crisis-hit property sector’s outlook to negative from stable, expecting contracted sales to fall by about 5% over the next six to 12 months.

Fixed asset investment expanded 3.2% in the first eight months of 2023 from the same period a year earlier, versus expectations for a 3.3% rise. It grew 3.4% in the first seven months.

An uncertain business climate meant companies remained wary about hiring, but the nationwide survey-based jobless rate improved a touch to 5.2% in August, slightly down from 5.3% in July. – Reuters

#China #factory #output #retail #sales #beat #forecasts #boost #recovery #prospects

Romeo, Abueva boost lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for Hangzhou Asiad

THE CAVALRY has arrived for Tim Cone’s crew for the approaching Asian Games led by balik-Gilas Pilipinas Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva.

Messrs. Romeo and Abueva, who last suited up five years ago, are among the 12 men plus one alternate Cone handpicked for the Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 Asiad in Hangzhou.

The duo joined FIBA World Cup (WC) veterans June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and RR Pogoy, WC pool members Calvin Oftana and Chris Newsome, PBA stalwarts Mo Tautuaa, Jason Perkins and Stanley Pringle and naturalized players Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame.

However, Mr. Cone said Messrs. Abueva and Perkins’ participation are dependent on whether the AG organizers will allow them to come in as replacements for injured players Jamie Malonzo and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser.

Energy guys Messrs. Abueva and Perkins are both not part of the initial list of 60 players the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas previously submitted in compliance with the Games’ requirements months ago.  Mr. Pringle, meanwhile, was enlisted as “alternate.”

Despite not getting the WC guys from the Japanese and Korean leagues, Mr. Cone is pretty satisfied with the team he assembled.

“I’m good with what we got,” Mr. Cone told reporters after the two-hour practice at the PhilSports Arena that kickstarted their two-week Asiad buildup.

“I think we got a good balance of quickness at three and four (positions) and we got good guards. We got shooters in Messrs. Roger, Terrence and Calvin and Justin. We’re pretty well equipped. We got great defenders in Messrs. Perkins and Newsome and Scottie’s all-around play.”

Messrs. Romeo and Abueva are returning to Gilas duties after the infamous brawl against Australia in July 2018.

Mr. Brownlee, who underwent surgery to remove bone spurs last month, assured he would play in the Asiad. “I feel pretty good. Of course, there’s going to be aches and pains, stuff that I probably have to play through at this time so I’m taking it step by step and slowly getting back to 100 percent or closer,” said Mr. Brownlee.

Mr. Cone said the team will hold a training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna from Sept. 16 to 21 after which they play a tuneup game against Korean club Changwon LG Sakers on the 22nd before the flight to China the next day. — Olmin Leyba

#Romeo #Abueva #boost #lineup #Gilas #Pilipinas #Hangzhou #Asiad

IMF urges pact to boost its resource quota, strengthen world economy

NEW DELHI – It is vital to increase quota resources for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before year-end, its chief, Kristalina Georgieva, said on Sunday, while urging members of the G20 bloc to deliver on a promise of $100 billion a year in climate funds.

In a declaration at its summit in New Delhi this weekend, the grouping vowed to tackle debt vulnerabilities in low and middle-income countries “in an effective, comprehensive and systematic manner”, but offered no fresh plan of action.”G20 members must lead by example in delivering on the promises of $100 billion per year for climate finance, supported by strengthening the multilateral development banks,” Georgieva said in a statement at the end of the two-day summit.

“Countries also need to mobilize domestic resources to finance and manage the green transition through tax reforms, effective and efficient public spending, strong fiscal institutions, and deep local debt markets.”

She urged the grouping to strengthen the global financial safety net.

“To make the global economy stronger and more resilient in a more shock-prone world, it is vital to reach an agreement to increase the IMF’s quota resources before the end of the year,” she said.

Such a pact would secure resources needed for the Fund’s interest-free support to the poorest countries through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, she added.

The G20 summit also pledged to strengthen and reform multilateral development banks, while accepting a proposal to regulate cryptocurrencies more tightly worldwide.

“More work lies ahead, including in the realm of digital money and crypto assets,” Georgieva said. — Reuters

#IMF #urges #pact #boost #resource #quota #strengthen #world #economy

Universal Music aims to boost artist royalties in new streaming model

Universal Music aims to boost artist royalties in new streaming model

UNIVERSAL Music Group NV and French company Deezer SA said they have developed a new music-streaming model that better compensates artists and the songs that fans actively engage with.

The deal is part of a broader strategy by the music industry to get more money from streaming platforms that have been flooded by white noise tracks and artificial intelligence (AI)-generated songs.

Artists who have at least 1,000 streams per month by a minimum of 500 unique listeners will see their royalties increase to reward their contribution to the streaming platform. The model will also better reward music that fans actively seek out on the platform, according to a statement from the two companies on Wednesday.

Deezer plans to introduce the model in France in the fourth quarter, before rolling it out to other markets.

Universal Music’s Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge has previously said that there is a “pressing need” to reassess the streaming model after an increase in uploads of low-quality content designed to “game the system and divert royalties.” The record label for artists such as Taylor Swift and Drake this year began partnering with streaming services including Tidal to explore an “artist-centric model” that rewards musicians with passionate fan bases. The company has also been in discussions with Spotify about addressing these issues, Grainge said during an earnings call in July.

Deezer will also take steps to limit non-artist noise content. “It should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favorite artist streamed in HiFi,” Deezer’s Chief Executive Officer Jeronimo Folgueira said in the statement.

“It will be interesting to see whether this deal can become a template for other streaming services to follow,” Citi analyst Thomas Singlehurst said in a note to clients. “There has always been a sense that Deezer has been quicker to move as a smaller player because it is less likely to destabilize the broader artist ecosystem.” — Bloomberg

#Universal #Music #aims #boost #artist #royalties #streaming #model

Digitalization to boost Philippine banking growth

Digitalization to boost Philippine banking growth

THE continued adoption of digitalization and open finance in the Philippine banking industry is expected to transform the delivery of financial services, enhance lenders’ revenue-generation capabilities and boost economic growth.

Digitalization in the sector was accelerated when banks were forced to find new ways of delivering financial services to the public amid the mobility restrictions imposed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said.

“The increased digital transformation of BSP Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs) and the financial consumers’ growing preference for digital payments and financial services brought about tremendous gains in terms of BSP’s advocacy on financial inclusion and digital payments transformation roadmap,” she said in a Viber message.   

One of the central bank’s priorities is to ensure the delivery of payment solutions aligned with consumers’ needs, she said, and digitalization has enabled increased efficiency, stability and confidence in online payments.   

“As technological innovations become mainstream in financial services, financial consumers can avail of accessible, affordable and convenient digital financial services,” Ms. Fonacier said. “To further cement this positive development, the BSP implemented regulatory and supervisory frameworks covering digital banking, open finance and regulatory sandbox, among others.”

The BSP wants 50% of retail payments done digitally and to onboard 70% of adult Filipinos into the formal financial system by the end of this year.   

Latest data from the central bank showed the share of digital payments in the total volume of retail transactions in the country rose to 42.1% in 2022 from 30.3% in 2021. 

Merchant payments, peer-to-peer remittances and business transactions of salaries and wages were the key contributors to the increase in digital payments.

Meanwhile, about 22 million Filipinos gained access to formal financial accounts between 2019 and 2021, bringing the country’s banked population to about 56% of adults in 2021, up from just 29% in 2019.   

The increase was driven by faster growth in digital payments, the central bank earlier said, as 36% of all Filipinos had e-money accounts in 2021, up from the 8% share in 2019.

However, the Philippine central bank is also aware of the risks associated with digitalization, Ms. Fonacier said, including cyberattacks.

“Thus, the BSP employed various regulatory and supervisory responses to manage such risks,” she said, adding that they issued BSP Circular No. 1140 to mandate institutions to adopt fraud management systems to address increased cybercrime incidents.

The circular issued in March 2022 amended risk management regulations to help strengthen cybersecurity and minimize losses from online fraud and illicit activities.

The BSP has also issued several memoranda on application programming interface (API) security, security of retail electronic payments and financial services, and e-mail security to address emerging threats that affect BSFIs, Ms. Fonacier said.   

Amid the rapid digitalization of the sector, banks and financial institutions are tweaking their business and operational models to keep up with “new normal,” she said.

“BSFIs are increasingly migrating to the cloud to address capacity demands and scalability. We’ve also noted growing interest in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), including generative AI such as ChatGPT, digital marketplace and open finance, among others,” she said.   

The BSP launched the Open Finance PH Pilot in partnership with the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. The initiative aims to build financial profiles and credit histories for unbanked Filipinos.

The pilot is a voluntary pledge of financial institutions to co-develop an interconnected ecosystem that would allow consumers to take more control over their financial data and to use various financial products and services from different providers.

“Moving forward, we still see a lot of growth opportunities to deepen digital innovation and transformation in financial services delivery, to capture or retain customer base and maintain competitiveness while enhancing revenue-generation capabilities,” Ms. Fonacier said.

“Nonetheless, the BSP and the industry players must continue to support the digital expansion by making sure that technologies and systems remain safe, robust, accessible and resilient against cyber and IT related risks,” she added.   

Using Threat Intelligence technology will help financial institutions strengthen cybersecurity, Siang Tiong Yeo, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, said in an e-mail.

He added this technology can help allow internal cybersecurity departments to focus on objectives with higher priorities.   

“Also, having a Managed Detection and Response solution that allows a cybersecurity team to employ the help of external experts to detect and stop complex attacks on company infrastructure at an early stage would be a great defensive measure,” he said.

Mr. Yeo added that financial data sharing and open banking initiatives are not new concepts, with Singapore being among the early adopters in Southeast Asia.   

“In a study in 2022, 85% of professionals in Singapore agree that open finance is giving consumers access to a greater range of financial services,” he said.

“Additionally, 76% agreed that open finance has the potential to bring about fairer and more equal financial services, while 90% agreed that open finance is already having a positive impact on the industry and making it more collaborative.”

However, data and third-party security should be fully covered in any data-sharing business model, especially in the financial industry.   

“As there are potential opportunities for growth in the industry for both players and consumers with the adoption of open banking, our experts at Kaspersky are predicting that this may lead to more opportunities for cyberattacks,” Mr. Yeo said.

He said open banking is vulnerable to risks such as financial fraud and identity theft.

“We also predict that the continued adoption of open banking systems will result in API abuses shifting from an infrequent to the most frequent attack vector, resulting in data breaches for enterprise web applications,” he said.   

Thus, Kaspersky said banks should adopt a unified cybersecurity approach with process-based security implementation, employee and user/consumer awareness and education, and technologies created specifically for the industry.

The further adoption of digital platforms can boost the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) if done in a manner that provides equitable access to the internet access and digital services, Swarup Gupta, industry manager at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said in an e-mail.

“Digital transformation of enterprises and governance processes has the potential to substantially boost GDP, and this is why the Marcos administration has rolled out several initiatives in this area,” Mr. Gupta said.

“A major positive is the fact that, according to recent statistics, the Philippines has some of the best internet speeds in the world, which is a crucial factor when it comes to aiding the process of digital transformation,” he said.   

However, digitalization also makes data vulnerable to theft and other illicit activities if not monitored effectively.   

“Late last year, the BSP launched a regulatory and supervisory solution in order to lighten the burden of regulatory compliance while automating the central bank’s supervisory role on cybersecurity,” Mr. Gupta said.   

“This solution catered to 150 supervised financial enterprises as of end 2022 and will soon be expanded to 600,” he said.   

Despite having a young population and a relatively high internet penetration rate, the Philippines faces multiple challenges to digitalization, Mr. Gupta said.   

“Philippine banks have to launch and persevere with services which can cater to a population which remains relatively underbanked apart from being less fortunate economically,” he said.   

Based on the central bank data, 34.3 million adults remained unbanked in the country. Farmers and agriculture workers were the least banked among all types of workers, with 73% having no accounts, the highest financial exclusion level seen in 2021.

Other segments that had a high percentage of unbanked adults were workers for private households (48%) and self-employed individuals (45%). Non-working adults without accounts stood at 52%, equivalent to 15.6 million adults. 

Still, the outlook for digitalization and open banking in the Philippines remains bright, Mr. Gupta said.   

“The opportunities are numerous in terms of a spurt in financial innovation, leading to higher economic growth, and the evolution of personalized products and services to cater to specific need sets,” he said.

“Risks include an increasing prevalence of cybercrime and the consequent need for regulators to strike a balance between helping to foster innovation and protecting customers,” he added. — Keisha B. Ta-asan

#Digitalization #boost #Philippine #banking #growth