Slowly Turning the Corner

Aquino sets the Philippines on the way to recovery

When Philippine Finance Minister Jaime Ongpin returned to Manila last month after 27 days of tough bargaining in New York City, he was jubilant. With reason: the patrician Ongpin had won an impressive new financial deal from U.S. and foreign bankers for the still struggling government of President Corazon Aquino. Payments on nearly half of the country's $28.2 billion foreign debt had been rescheduled at interest rates nearly 40% lower than the banks had originally demanded, saving about $1 billion. Ongpin had also won approval for a novel method of turning some of the remaining interest into badly needed foreign investment....

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