Monday, October 13, 2003
Philippines says to comply with Australian quarantine rules on exports
Philippines' Ayala electronics unit keen to acquire Asia, Europe chip-makers
Fraport says World Bank accepts request for arbitration against Philippines
Forex - Philippine peso closes at 10-week high vs dollar
Philippine peso boosted on weak dollar demand, steady regionals - central bank
Philippines' Jan-Aug tourist arrivals down 9.10 pct yr-on-yr
Philippines' Meralco says tariff hike urgent as cash flow 'critical'
Philippines' Salcon Power cash dividend 0.15 pesos per share; chairman resigns
Philippines' ICTSI acquires marine terminal cargo management software
Philippines' key electronics sector unnerved by highway robbers
Philippine T-bill rates rise across the boar
Manila shares close up on PLDT-led gains, key index at 18-mth high
Philippines' Meralco seeks new tariff hike of avg 0.1358 pesos/kwh
Manila shares sharply higher on extended buying, PLDT leads gains
STOCK ALERT - Philippines' PLDT firmer early on ADR gain, earnings prospects
Forex - Philippine peso extends gains early, in line with strong regionals
Malaysia's Petronas, Britain's BP pull out of polyethylene project -report
Philippines' BCDA offers to sell 45 pct stake in Fort Bonifacio Devt - report
Philippines' Petron sets 6.0 bln peso capex for 2004
Philippine Savings Bank NPL ratio 6.25 pct as of Sept 19
Chinatrust Philippines NPL ratio 4.96 pct as of Sept 19
Philippine end-Sept budget deficit exceeds 30 bln pesos - source
Philippines' Prudential Bank NPL ratio 38.26 pct as of Sept 19
Jemaah Islamiyah's Al-Ghozi killed in southern Philippines - military
Philippines says former Estrada official linked to failed coup freed on bail
Philippines' Banco de Oro raises 150 mln usd via landmark 5-yr bond issue
First Philippine Holdings to list extra 22,440 common shares Oct 13 - exchange
Philippines' Vivant to redeem preferred shares for conversion to common shares
Friday, October 10, 2003
Manila shares close sharply higher in line with regional market gains
Philippines' Arroyo rules out political interference in San Miguel ruling
Philippines' PNOC Exploration says sale of Malampaya stake 'in progress'
Philippines' Crown Equities unit in property JV with Santa Lucia
Philippines Jan 1- Sept 26 net portfolio inflows up 127 pct yr-on-yr
Philippines' Petron signs contracts for 2 refinery units worth 63 mln usd
Philippines rocked by earthquake
Philippines' Balabac Holdings resumes trading today - stock exchange
Philippine SEC approves JG Summit Petrochemical's capital increase
Development Bank of the Philippines NPL ratio 12.46 pct as of Sept 19
Philippine regulator asks Digitel Mobile to increase capital - report
Philippines' National Home Mortgage Finance to sell 14-bln peso NPLs - report
Philippine National Bank to auction 100-mln peso bad assets Oct 23 - report
Philippine banks end-Aug NPL ratio 14.96 pct vs 15.38 pct in July
Philippine economic and corporate news summary LYQ81
October 8 - 9
October 6 - 7
October 3 - 4
October 1 - 2
|Philippines says to comply with Australian quarantine rules on exports|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the Philippines government will comply with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service's new rules requiring the pre-border quarantine of export cargoes.
The pre-border quarantine is meant to prevent the entry of destructive African giant snails into Australia.
In a statement, the DA also said the Australian Embassy has denied press reports that it has imposed a ban on the entry of container vans carrying exports from countries suspected of being infested with African snails.
African giant snails are known to feed on many types of crops and ornamental plants, as well as organic matter.
The Australian Government has not banned shipments from any part of the world, but is strictly enforcing the fumigation requirement on container vans entering its country, the DA said.
The local Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Bureau of Plant Industries, agencies under the DA, are coordinating to ensure pre-border inspection and fumigation of fishery and aquatic exports to Australia, it said.
The DA said Philippine exporters were surprised about Canberra's new quarantine rules, which they came to know only after shippers stopped accepting shipments to Australia from local ports such as General Santos, Davao, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Subic.
|Philippines' Ayala electronics unit keen to acquire Asia, Europe chip-makers|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Ayala Corp unit Integrated Microelectronics Inc (IMI) has drawn up 50.0 mln usd budget to acquire chip-makers in Asia and Europe in a bid to expand its business, company president Arthur Tan said.
"Next year, we have plans to expand our ODM (original design manufacturing) and EMS (electronics manufacturing service) and one way we can do this is by buying existing companies," he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry briefing by the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc.
He said IMI is now in talks with several companies based in Asia and Europe, but declined to identify them.
IMI can fund the acquisitions without asking for help from its parent, he said.
IMI has programmed a 2004 capital outlay of 5.0 mln usd for local acquisitions.
IMI's net profit rose 40.0 pct year-on-year in the third quarter to September on the back of a 25.0 pct year-on-year rise in revenue, Tan said, but without giving absolute figures.
He said he sees IMI's full-year net profit growing 20.0-25.0 pct on the back of increased revenue.
(1 usd = 54.53 pesos)
|Fraport says World Bank accepts request for arbitration against Philippines|
FRANKFURT (AFX) - Frankfurt airport manager Fraport AG said the World Bank has registered its request for arbitration against the Philippine government over the failed passenger terminal (IPT3) project at Manila airport.
Fraport's arbitration request comes after more than six months of discussions with the Philippine government failed to produce any offer by the government to compensate Fraport for its investment of more than 425 mln usd.
|Forex - Philippine peso closes at 10-week high vs dollar|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The peso closed at its strongest level against the dollar in about 10 weeks on a lack of corporate demand for the US unit, dealers said.
The peso was also seen still catching up with previous gains of regional currencies, as the local unit had lagged due to the domestic concerns, they added.
The killing of one of Asia's most wanted terrorists, Jemaah Islamiyah bomb-maker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi, in a joint police-military operation in the southern Philippines also boosted sentiment for the local unit, they said.
Al-Ghozi's death eased security worries ahead US President George W Bush's visit to Manila on Oct 18 and is seen as a major victory in the international war against terror, analysts said.
The peso closed at 54.535 to the dollar, its strongest level for the day and since July 28, when it finished at 54.380. It hit a low of 54.650 at the opening, as volume reached 114.80 mln usd.
It closed at 54.720 on Friday.
Trickles of inflows, including remittances from Filipino workers and sales by some banks, also provided support to the peso, dealers said.
"We're just following the regionals (which had posted stronger gains against the US unit previously) in the absence of corporate demand. The positive news about al-Ghozi also helped, while inflows continue to trickle in," a commercial bank dealer said.
Al-Ghozi's escape from a supposedly tightly guarded Manila prison in July embarrassed the Philippine government.
Given the expectations of a further strengthening of the peso, the dealer said the central bank has understandably not taken advantage of the dollar's weakness to boost its reserves.
Central bank deputy governor Amando Tetangco said the peso's recovery has been due to actual inflows and expectations of improved inflows down the road, while steady regional currencies and weak dollar demand also helped.
The central bank was not in the market today, he said.
The dealer said there is still room for the peso to gain more ground up to 54.300-54.400 tomorrow. A dealer earlier said the breach of 54.500 support level for dollar could bring the peso back to 54.000.
The market shrugged off news that the national government's budget deficit rose to more than 30.00 bln pesos in September from 18.17 bln in August, exceeding the target of 22.07 bln pesos for the month.
The government has yet to release official deficit figures, although it admitted having missed revenue collection targets and exceeded programmed expenditures last month.
|Philippine peso boosted on weak dollar demand, steady regionals - central bank|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The peso rebounded further against the dollar on weak demand for the US unit and steady regional currencies, central bank deputy governor Amando Tetangco Jr said.
Expectations of increased inflows in the last quarter of the year have also discouraged buying of dollars, he said.
The peso's recovery has been due to "improved inflows down the road... steady regional currencies and weak dollar demand also helped," he said.
At the Philippine Dealing System, the peso closed at 54.535 to the dollar on volume of 114.80 mln usd. It closed at 54.720 on Friday.
The central bank was not in the market today, Tetangco said.
|Philippines' Jan-Aug tourist arrivals down 9.10 pct yr-on-yr|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Tourists arrivals in the Philippines in the eight months to August fell 9.10 pct to 1.18 mln from 1.30 mln a year earlier, latest figures from the Tourism department show.
In August alone, arrivals fell 1.30 pct year-on-year to 162,076 from 164, 244 in the same month last year.
No other details were given.
|Philippines' Meralco says tariff hike urgent as cash flow 'critical'|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The Manila Electric Co (Meralco) said it asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to "provisionally approve" its latest petition for a tariff increase, insisting it is urgently needed due to cash flow pressures.
"At present, Meralco's financial condition, particularly its cash flow constraints, remains critical due to the combined need to operate and maintain its electric system, undertake planned electric capital projects, service maturing loans, on top of the refund (of overcharges) being implemented by the company," Meralco said in a statement.
It filed a petition with the ERC on Friday seeking approval for a tariff increase of an average 0.1358 pesos per kilowatt hour, which it said represents an increase of 2.30 pct over the present overall average charge of 5.9893 pesos per kWh.
In a phone interview with AFX-Asia earlier, Meralco vice president and assistant corporate secretary Gil San Diego said the rate adjustment is based on the value of company assets.
"We are entitled to (get) a rate adjustment when the value of the assets being used in the utility business has ... increased," he said.
Meralco, the country's largest power distributor, supplies electricity to the residents of metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces.
It returned to profitability in the second quarter, posting net profit of 391.00 mln pesos, from a net loss of 325.00 mln in the previous quarter on the back of increased sales and a 0.0865 pesos per kWh increase in the distribution rate, which boosted revenue.
The rate hike was implemented through the unbundling of power charges, which the ERC approved on May 30.
Meralco has expressed confidence it will meet its full-year net profit target of 1.00 bln pesos, despite a Supreme Court order to refund overcharged customers.
Meralco expects the refunds, which are being implemented in several phases possibly lasting several years, to cost the power company some 30.50 bln pesos.
"While Meralco's current unbundled tariffs were implemented only starting June 2003, these were based on 1998 assets appraised in 1999. Further, the company's revenue requirement was determined using year 2000 financial statements," said Meralco's legal counsel, former senator Wigberto Tanada.
Under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Restructuring Law, regulated electric utilities such as Meralco are allowed to re-value their assets once every three years.
In its statement, Meralco said its credit rating has been downgraded at least four times over the last 12 months by Standard & Poor's. It now has rating of "CC" from the agency.
"Our Return on Rate Base, or RORB, for 2003 is projected to reach only 7. 90 pct, even with June 2003 unbundled tariffs. By 2004, our RORB would fall further to 7.10 pct, unless Meralco is allowed to update its rates," said Meralco's Utility Economics head Ivanna dela Pena.
Under its loan covenants with creditors the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, Meralco is supposed to maintain a RORB level of at least 12. 00 pct. So, the company has technically defaulted.
Its most recent rate increase of 0.0865 pesos per kWh was its first in more than nine years. The rate hike in 1994 was approved at 0.184 pesos per kWh but effectively reduced to 0.017 per kWh because of the Supreme Court refunds and rate rollback order, Meralco said.
If approved, dela Pena said the rate hike will be reflected in the distribution charge, supply charge and metering charge components of the monthly bill.
She noted that residential customers using 100.00 kWh or less will continue to receive "substantial lifeline discounts."
"Even with the proposed adjustment, they will be paying less than what they were paying in May 2003, before tariffs were unbundled," she said.
These lifeline customers, she said, number about 1.40 mln, representing more than one-third of Meralco's 4.00 mln customers.
Analysts have long expected the tariff increase petition from Meralco, and had even priced it in previously. But they were not optimistic about Meralco's chances of getting its petition approved ahead of the May 2004 elections.
In August, ING Financial Markets said Meralco's refund and upcoming debt maturities might cause cash flow problems for the company beginning this year up to 2005.
It said the solution to Meralco's liquidity problems is to either negotiate with creditors for a terming out of existing debt, or to find new sources of funds to refinance the existing debt.
Refinancing existing obligations will, however, entail higher borrowing costs on the part of Meralco following the company's recent credit rating downgrades.
ING therefore expected Meralco to look to a rate increase, saying a 0.20 pesos per kWh increase "may be warranted to bring its RORB back to its approved weighted average cost of capital of 15.50 pct."
But it sees "a low possibility of Meralco being granted a rate increase so close to the May 2004 elections."
Meralco B, available to foreign investors, closed today up 0.25 pesos at 22.50, while Meralco A rose 0.25 to 15.00.
(1 usd = 54.60 pesos)
|Philippines' Salcon Power cash dividend 0.15 pesos per share; chairman resigns|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Salcon Power Corp said it will pay a cash dividend of 0.15 pesos per share to shareholders. Payment is set for Nov 11.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Salcon Power also said its board of directors has accepted the resignation Lim Chan Lok as company chairman, effective immediately, and as chief operating officer, effective Jan 1, 2004 at the earliest.
The board has elected Wong Fong Fui as chairman to serve the Lim's unexpired term.
The company did not disclose the reason for Lim's resignation.
The board has set its annual meeting for Jan 14 next year.
(1 usd = 54.60 pesos)
|Philippines' ICTSI acquires marine terminal cargo management software|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) said it has acquired, through unit International Container Terminal Holdings Inc (ICTHI), ownership of a computerized marine cargo handling management software, products and services from a US-based company.
ICTSI has purchased ownership rights to PCR Terminal Systems for a yet undisclosed amount from an unidentified company, and established a new global business company in Mauritius, called Container Terminal Systems Solutions Inc (CTSSI) to operate the software, it said in a statement.
The company could not immediately provide financial and other details.
CTSSI now operates as a software developer for marine ports and container terminals, and currently offers two integrated software products that enhance terminal control and management functions, it said.
"CTSSI's ownership of the software will allow the ICTSI Group to customize these where necessary to produce standard commercial terminal operations software product for the ICTSI Group's use worldwide," ICTSI said.
It plans to market the software to other terminal operators.
At present, clients include the Port of Guam and the Jakarta International Container Terminals.
"We see this acquisition as key to further integrating and enhancing our proficiency in terminal operations, which will translate to greater customer satisfaction," said CTSSI chief executive officer and ICTSI vice president Francis Andrews.
"It is also a vehicle for which we can market our experience in automated terminal operations."
ICTSI, meanwhile, said subsidiaries ICTHI and ICTSI Ltd have established a company in Indonesia, PT Container Terminals Systems Solutions Indonesia, which now operates as a software developer, distributor and software maintenance contractor.
|Philippines' key electronics sector unnerved by highway robbers|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - A wave of highway robberies has unnerved the Philippines' strategic electronics sector as it struggles to recover from the 2001 global information technology (IT) sector slump, industry officials said.
Unknown gunmen have been "hijacking" trucks that bring the electronics products to Manila for shipment abroad, said Ernie Santiago, executive director of the 204-member Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI).
Some of the stolen products have ended up in the local grey market, while others are bought by "some local distributors or they end up directly overseas," said Arthur Tan, president of Integrated Microelectronics Inc, a leading manufacturing subcontractor here.
SEIPI companies are major foreign exchange earners, accounting for 69 pct of Philippine merchandise exports last year.
Santiago told a press briefing that industry officials signed an agreement with police last month to deal with the hijackings, which have been occurring all over the Philippines.
The armed robberies were a "serious problem" for local semiconductor companies which produce a wide range of products ranging from chips to radar communication equipment, said Danilo Lachica, president of First Sumiden Circuits Inc, a Japanese-Filipino flexible printed circuits manufacturer.
Since the industry signed an agreement with the police "there have been some improvements but we're not quite there yet," Lachica said.
The US and Japanese chambers of commerce, which together represent 80 IT companies in the country, "are working with SEIPI in talking to the government," he added.
The industry leaders refused to give figures for losses owing to the robberies. "We don't want to talk about these things for our own security reasons," Lachica said.
Tan said the effect of the attacks on cost of production and meeting delivery requirements were in themselves "significant", but that the negative perception the problem created could be even more damaging.
He cited an unnamed foreign company that has "decided not to produce new generation of products here in the Philippines because they've been victimized two or three times."
Both Tan and Santiago said the SEIPI is working with the freight forwarding companies that carry the bulk of the IT sector products to prevent more attacks.
Some of the measures involved equipping the vehicles with global positioning system tracking equipment and imposing qualification requirements on logistics companies that transport the sector's products.
The Philippine industry is dominated by semiconductor manufacturing companies that together account for at least 11 pct of the 150 bln usd global market, Santiago said.
The Philippines also has a 6 bln usd share in the 650 bln usd electronic man ufacturing service sub-sector.
Santiago said the industry is sticking to its 5 pct export growth target despite a patchy recovery in the market.
The sector shipped 24.26 bln usd worth of products in calendar 2002, an 11 pct increase over 2001 levels but still below the 2000 peak of 27.17 bln usd.
He said global economic recovery should accelerate next year, when the Philippines is projecting its electronics exports to rise 20 pct to 30.56 bln usd.
|Philippine T-bill rates rise across the board|
(Updating with comments from national treasurer)
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Treasury bill rates rose across the board on full awards for 91-day and 364-day tenors at today's auction, the Bureau of Treasury said.
The government's auction committee tempered the rise in the average 182-day rate by resorting to a partial award.
National Treasurer Sergio Edeza said the rate increases were expected as the government wanted to align T-bill rates, particularly the 91-day rate, with the central bank's key overnight borrowing rate of 6.750 pct.
The bellwether 91-day rate averaged 5.629 pct, compared with 5.506 pct previously, with bids ranging from 5.500 pct to 5.875 pct. The government awarded its 4.000-bln peso offer against total tenders of 4.412 bln.
The 182-day rate averaged 6.763 pct versus 6.567 pct previously with bids ranging from 6.600 pct to 7.000. The government awarded 2.153 bln pesos worth of six-month bills against its offer of 3.000 bln and total tenders of 2.753 bln.
The government awarded in full its offer of 2.500 bln pesos worth of 364-day bills, with the rate averaging 7.366 pct, compared with 7.236 pct previously with bids ranging from 7.250 pct to 7.625 pct. Tenders totalled 5. 720 bln pesos.
Edeza also announced that the government has decided to hold an auction for T-bills and two auctions for T-bonds in December, instead of an earlier plan to scrap all auctions scheduled for that month.
The government is holding T-bill auctions on a forthnightly basis, with a 9.50-bln peso offer at each auction. T-bond auctions are held every week.
"We want to build up our cash position. It's better to be prepared for future rejections," he told reporters after the auction.
He said the 91-day rate, used by banks in pricing loans, could rise to as high as 7.000 pct in the coming months, reflecting uncertainties in the run-up to the May elections.
(1 usd = 54.60 pesos)
|Manila shares close up on PLDT-led gains, key index at 18-mth high|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Share prices closed sharply higher for a third straight session as Philippine Long Distance Telephone-led gains in blue chips lifted the key index to its highest level in nearly 18 months, dealers said.
News of Jemaah Islamiyah bomb-maker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi's killing in a joint police-military operation in the southern Philippines eased security concerns ahead of US President George Bush's visit to Manila on Oct 18, they added.
Also adding a positive tone to the market is the peso's strength against the US dollar, they added.
The composite index closed up 39.23 points, or 2.92 pct, at 1,384.43, its highest level for the day and since April 19 last year, when it ended at 1, 401.36.
Volume totalled 454.70 mln shares valued at 892.66 mln pesos.
Gainers led losers 38 to 18, with 47 stocks unchanged.
At the Philippine Dealing System, the peso averaged 54.584 to the dollar at noon on volume of 94.00 mln usd, after it closed at a two-month high of 54. 720 on Friday.
Dealers see a test of the composite index's resistance at 1,400 in the coming sessions, although a technical correction is also expected.
"The buying momentum remained intact after the breach last week of the key resistance level, while PLDT's strong gains in New York also helped sustain buying interest," Westlink Global Equities chairman Rommel Macapagal said.
"Sentiment was also given boost on news of al-Ghozi's killing, ahead of the Bush visit, and the peso's continuing rebound."
PLDT was top traded and up 20.00 pesos at 720.00 on volume of 331,690 shares following a hefty 0.90 usd gain to 13.25 in its American Depositary Receipts in New York on Friday.
"PLDT is still cheap, given its good earnings prospects," said Eagle Equities president Joseph Roxas.
Smart Communications Inc is seen being on track to pay parent PLDT an additional dividend of 1.80 bln pesos in the last quarter of 2003, ING Financial Markets said in a research note.
Both Smart and affiliate Pilipino Telephone Corp continue to book gains in the wireless business, ING added.
ING said it is maintaining its "buy" call on PLDT and a 12-month price target of 780.00 pesos.
PLDT expects its mobile phone subscribers to exceed 12.00 mln as at the end of the year from over 11.00 mln as of end-August.
The company said it is optimistic it can meet its full-year net profit target of around 9.00 bln pesos, despite huge one-off provisions in the first half. Its 2002 net profit came in at 3.10 bln pesos.
Ayala Corp was up 0.10 at 4.95 on 20.10 mln shares, as were its unitsm with Ayala Land up 0.40 at 6.70, Globe Telecom up 55.00 at 780.00 and Bank of the Philippine Islands up 2.00 at 46.50.
Metrobank was up 1.50 at 29.50 on 1.59 mln shares.
Manila Electric B, open to foreign investors, was up 0.25 at 22.50 and Meralco A up 0.25 at 15.00.
Meralco filed a petition on Friday with the Energy Regulatory Commission seeking approval for a tariff increase of an average 0.1358 pesos per kilowatthour, a company source told AFX-Asia.
Meralco vice president and assistant corporate secretary Gil San Diego said the rate adjustment proposal is based on the appraised value of company assets.
Meralco parent First Philippine Holdings rose 0.50 to 19.25 on 2.10 mln shares.
Filinvest Land was up 0.06 at 1.18 on 24.40 mln shares.
The all-shares index rose 7.56 points to 821.66.
The commercial-industrial index was up 47.08 at 2,018.83, while property advanced 19.00 to 611.37.
Mining recovered from early losses to close 5.22 higher at 1,607.03.
Oil was unchanged at 1.39.
Banking and financials services rose 15.94 to 461.34.
|Philippines' Meralco seeks new tariff hike of avg 0.1358 pesos/kwh|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The Manila Electric Co filed a petition filed with the Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday to seek approval for a tariff increase, a company source told AFX-Asia.
"We're asking for an average rate increase of 0.1358 pesos per kilowatt hour," the source said.
In a separate telephone interview, Meralco vice president and assistant corporate secretary Gil San Diego said the rate adjustment is based on the appraised value of company assets.
"We are entitled to (get) a rate adjustment when the value of the assets being used in the utility business has, as per the appraisal of an appraisal company, increased," he said.
Meralco returned to profitability in the second quarter, booking a net profit of 391.00 mln pesos, from a net loss of 325.00 mln in the first quarter on the back of increased sales and a 0.0865 pesos per kWh increase in the distribution rate, which boosted revenue.
The rate hike was implemented through the unbundling of power charges, which the Energy Regulatory Commission approved on May 30.
Meralco has expressed confidence it will meet its full-year net profit target of 1.00 bln pesos, having returned to, what it expects is, sustainable profitability in the second quarter, despite a Supreme Court order to return overcharges to customers.
Meralco expects the refund to cost it some 30.50 bln pesos.
(1 usd = 54.60 pesos)
|Manila shares sharply higher on extended buying, PLDT leads gains|
(Updating with analyst comments, share prices)
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Share prices were sharply higher in early trade on follow-through buying, with gains in Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) lifting the key index past another resistance at the 1,380 level, dealers said.
News that Jemaah Islamiyah bomb-maker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi was killed on Sunday in a joint police-military operation in the southern Philippines is keeping the momentum intact and boosting sentiment ahead of US President George Bush's visit to Manila on Oct 18, they added.
At 11.24 am, the composite index was up 30.46 points, or 2.26 pct, at 1, 375.33, on volume of 383.37 mln shares valued at 594.51 mln pesos. It has moved between 1,358.72 and 1,380.27 so far.
Gainers led losers 35 to 18, with 41 stocks unchanged.
"We are expecting this follow-through buying after the breach of resistance levels last Friday," Eagle Equities president Joseph Roxas said.
"We also have some positive news to sustain buying, such as the al-Ghozi lead."
A technical correction is expected by Wednesday if not tomorrow, dealers said.
PLDT was top traded so far and up 20.00 pesos at 720.00 on volume of 160, 870 shares following a hefty 0.90 usd gain in its American Depositary Receipts in New York to 13.25 last Friday.
"PLDT is still cheap given its good earnings prospects," Roxas said.
Ayala Corp was up 0.15 pesos at 5.00 on 13.78 mln shares, while units Ayala Land was up 0.40 at 6.70, Globe Telecom up 35.00 at 760.00, and Bank of the Philippine Islands up 1.50 at 46.00.
Metrobank was up 1.00 at 29.00.
Manila Electric B, open to foreign investors, rose 0.50 to 22.75, while Meralco A was up 0.25 at 15.00.
Meralco parent First Philippine Holdings gained 0.50 at 19.25.
Filinvest Land was up 0.04 at 1.16 on 17.08 mln shares.
The all-shares index rose 5.45 points to 819.55.
The commercial-industrial index was up 29.32 at 2,001.07, while property gained 20.83 at 613.20.
Mining bucked the trend, down 4.84 at 1,596.97.
Oil was unchanged at 1.39.
Banking and financials services rose 11.06 to 456.46.
(1 usd = 54.62 pesos)
|STOCK ALERT - Philippines' PLDT firmer early on ADR gain, earnings prospects|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) surged past its key resistance level of 700 pesos following a hefty gain in its New York-listed American Depositary Receipts (ADR) last Friday, dealers said.
They said investors view PLDT as still cheap considering its positive earnings prospects this year on the back of gains in the wireless business.
PLDT was up 25.00 pesos at 725.00 on volume of 104,820 shares.
Its ADRs rose 0.90 usd to 13.25 last Friday.
(1 usd = 54.62 pesos)
|Forex - Philippine peso extends gains early, in line with strong regionals|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The peso re-gained more ground against the dollar in line with the strength of regional currencies against the US unit, dealers said.
They said sentiment towards the peso is also positive ahead of the Oct 18 Manila visit of US President George W Bush, and has been further boosted by news that escaped Jemaah Islamiyah bomb-maker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi was killed on Sunday in a joint police-military operation in the southern Philippines.
At 9.38 am, the peso averaged 54.627 to the dollar after trading in the range of 54.610-54.650 on volume of 20.0 mln usd. It closed at a two-month high of 54.720 on Friday.
Expectations of more inflows mainly in the form remittances from Filipino workers overseas and of further dollar-selling by exporters will also give the peso a boost, dealers said.
"But this is more in line with strong regionals," a commercial bank dealer said.
"You have some positive news supporting the local unit like the Bush visit and the al-Ghozi lead. There are still no inflows this early but there could be more later today."
The market shrugged off news that the national government's budget deficit rose to more than 30.00 bln pesos in September from 18.17 bln in August, exceeding the government's target of 22.07 bln pesos for the month.
The dealer sees the dollar traded at a range of 54.500-54.700 today.
|Malaysia's Petronas, Britain's BP pull out of polyethylene project -report|
KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) - Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and British oil giant BP plc have withdrawn from a 330 mln usd polyethylene venture in the Philippines, the New Straits Times reported, quoting unnamed sources.
The source said Petronas and BP decided to pull out from the Bataan Polyethylene Corp (BPC) project for commercial reasons.
Petronas and BP are the main partners in BPC, each holding a 38.5 pct stake. The other partners are Japan's Sumitomo Corp with 6.5 pct and Profinda, a consortium of Philippine investors, with the remaining 16.5 pct.
The paper said it is not known whether Sumitomo and Profinda also plan to pull out of the venture.
The sources said the difficult economic conditions in the Philippines and the oversupply of petrochemical products in the region were behind the decision to exit the venture.
BPC has begun decommissioning the plant to ensure the safety and well-being of the staff and the surrounding community, the source said, adding that the process is scheduled to be completed by year-end.
(1 usd = 3.8 rgt)
|Philippines' BCDA offers to sell 45 pct stake in Fort Bonifacio Devt - report|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The state-run Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) is offering to sell its 45 pct stake in Fort Bonifacio Development Corp, the BusinessWorld newspaper reported, citing BCDA president and chief executive officer Rufo Colayco.
The BCDA is now looking for a financial adviser for the planned sale, he said.
The agency hopes to complete the sale by next year.
Despite the sale, however, the report said BCDA would still retain control over the development of the 214-hectare former military camp into the Bonifacio Global City.
The property development is being led by Bonifacio Land Corp, which is 55 pct owned by BCDA. The remaining interests are held by Metro Pacific Corp, Ayala Land Inc, and Evergreen Holdings Inc.
Colayco was quoted as saying that the planned sale is in line with the government's effort to raise more cash.
|Philippines' Petron sets 6.0 bln peso capex for 2004|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Oil refiner Petron Corp will spend 6.0 bln pesos for capital expenditure in 2004, the bulk of which is intended for the upgrade of its refinery in Bataan, company vice president for corporate planning Ziyad Al-Shiha said.
Petron will also spend some 500-600 mln pesos on expansion of its service station network next year, he told reporters.
Next year, the company plans to put up around 20 stations, which will offer products complying with environment-friendly specifications under the Clean Air Act (CAA), he said.
At a cost of around 63 mln usd, Petron is putting up two refinery units that will enhance its compliance with the stringent petroleum product requirements under the CAA.
Petron expects the Gas Oil Hydroheater No.3 and LVN Isomerization Unit at its refinery to be ready for operation by end-2004 or a 15-month construction.
(1 usd = 54.72 pesos)
|Philippine Savings Bank NPL ratio 6.25 pct as of Sept 19|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Philippine Savings Bank said its non-performing loans (NPL) ratio stood at 6.25 pct as of Sept 19, against 7.37 pct as of June 19.
In its published statement of condition, Philippine Savings said its NPL totaled 1.26 bln pesos as of Sept 19, against general provisions of 175.49 mln pesos and specific provisions of 649.40 mln.
It reported a return on equity of 8.09 pct.
(1 usd = 54.72 pesos)
|Chinatrust Philippines NPL ratio 4.96 pct as of Sept 19|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Chinatrust (Philippines) Commercial Bank Corp said its nonperforming loans accounted for 4.96 pct of total loans as of Sept 19.
Chinatrust Philippines' NPL ratio stood at 6.47 pct as of March 26.
In its published statement of condition, the bank said its NPLs totalled 515.41 mln pesos, against general provisions of 283.57 mln and specific provisions of 268.62 mln.
Return on avarage equity stood at 17.77 pct.
(1 usd = 54.72 pesos)
|Philippine end-Sept budget deficit exceeds 30 bln pesos - source|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The national government's budget deficit swelled beyond 30.00 bln pesos in September from 18.17 bln in August, exceeding the target of 22.07 bln pesos for the month, a government source said.
The government spent more than its programmed 69.55 bln peso expenditure level for the month and also missed its collection target of 47.47 bln, the source said.
The source gave no exact figures.
It is the second month in a row that the budget deficit was beyond ceiling, but the government is maintaining its full-year deficit ceiling at 4. 70 pct of GDP or about 202.00 bln pesos.
"We have more than 13 bln pesos in flexibility left as of August. I'm sure we would still be below the nine-month target," Finance Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho said.
Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin has promised that spending in the fourth quarter would be capped to ensure the the full-year deficit will be within target.
The deficit stood at 113.50 bln pesos in the eight months to August, still below the ceiling of 127.50 bln.
However, the deficit in August alone was 18.17 bln pesos, exceeding the 8. 11 bln ceiling as the government spent more to boost the slowing economy.
(1 usd = 54.72 pesos)
|Philippines' Prudential Bank NPL ratio 38.26 pct as of Sept 19|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Prudential Bank's non-performing loans accounted for 38.26 pct of total loans as of Sept 19, according to its published statement of condition.
The bank's NPL ratio stood at 29.59 pct as of June 19.
The bank said its NPLs totalled 6.93 bln pesos as of Sept 19, against specific provisions of 1.305 bln and general provisions of 17.47 mln.
Return on equity stood at 5.26 pct.
(1 usd = 54.72 pesos)
|Jemaah Islamiyah's Al-Ghozi killed in southern Philippines - military|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Escaped Jemaah Islamiyah bomb-maker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi was killed Sunday in a joint police-military operation in the southern Philippines, the military said.
"It is confirmed, but details will follow," military vice chief-of-staff Lieutenant General Rodolfo Garcia said.
Al-Ghozi was serving a 17-year jail sentence for explosives possession when he escaped along with two Filipino Muslim militants from a jail inside the Manila police headquarters in July.
He has also confessed to taking part in a deadly string of bombings in Manila in December 2000 that killed 22 people. Authorities said he planned the bombings along with Hambali, also known as Riduan Isamuddin, JI's operations chief who is now in US custody.
Garcia said al-Ghozi was killed late Sunday near the town of Pigkawayan in southern Cotabato province.
Other details of the operation could not yet be disclosed, he said.
|Philippines says former Estrada official linked to failed coup freed on bail|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - A former cabinet minister of deposed Philippine president Joseph Estrada, indicted for alleged involvement in the July 27 military mutiny, has been allowed to post bail, officials said today.
However, Justice Department officials are confident they can eventually secure the conviction of Ramon Cardenas, a former head of Estrada's presidential management staff, the AFP news agency reported.
Cardenas was allowed to post bail of 360,000 pesos in the Manila suburb of Makati where he faces charges of rebellion for alleged involvement in the July mutiny by some 300 rebel soldiers, who were seeking the ouster of President Gloria Arroyo, it added.
The mutiny was quashed in less than a day and the soldiers involved were detained, but the government says the political figures behind the plot remain at large.
Officials say that the mutiny was part of a coup attempt intended to topple Arroyo and briefly re-install Estrada before a junta took over.
Backpacks, armbands, documents and other paraphernalia of the mutineers were seized from a house belonging to Cardenas in Makati after the mutiny.
Cardenas is alleged to have hosted the meetings of the rebel soldiers.
Chief state prosecutor Jovencito Zuno said they cannot prevent the filing of bail, but added "there is nothing to prevent us from presenting evidence against him."
"Our evidence is strong. We will be able to prove the case against him," Justice Undersecretary Jose Calida said.
Estrada was ousted in a military-backed, popular uprising in 2001 due to a massive corruption scandal. He remains in detention while facing graft charges.
|Philippines' Banco de Oro raises 150 mln usd via landmark 5-yr bond issue|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Banco de Oro Universal Bank said it raised 150 mln usd in the international capital markets via a landmark five-year senior bond issue which broke some records set in the market previously.
To be listed on the Singapore exchange, the bonds come with a three-year put option to the bank at par value and will pay a semi-annual coupon of 6.50 pct, it said in a statement.
The bonds have been rated Ba2 by Moody's Investors Service, which "reflects the bank's moderate capability to service its debt obligations," the ratings agency earlier said.
UBS Investment Bank was the sole book builder.
Banco de Oro, the financial arm of the SM Group, said the transaction broke many records in bond issuances in the Philippines.
"First, the semi-annual coupon of 6.50 pct marks the lowest in the history of offshore Philippine bond deals. At a yield of 6.75 pct, the bonds priced even inside the bank's parent, SM Investments Corp, on a like-for-like basis," the bank said.
"Second, the transaction was 7.5 times subscribed - the largest for a Philippine debut issuer. Third, the book building process was one of the fastest - generating an order book of over 750 mln usd in three days."
Banco de Oro said the transaction "opened access for Philippine banks looking for quick, effective and efficient sources of funding."
The bank originally intended to raise only 100 mln usd for its strategic asset-liability management purposes, but increased the issue size to 150 mln usd due to "overwhelming" reception and record-low yield.
"The outcome was simply exceptional - the low yield, the oversubscription, and the speed of execution," said Teresita Sy-Coson, bank chairwoman.
Bank president Nestor Tan added "the high level of participation by international institutional investors is a clear endorsement of Banco de Oro's prudent growth strategy."
(1 usd = 54.72 pesos)
|First Philippine Holdings to list extra 22,440 common shares Oct 13 - exchange|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - First Philippines Holdings Corp will list an additional 22,440 common shares on Oct 13 to cover shares under its employee stock option plan, the stock exchange said.
First Philippine Holdings closed today up 0.75 pesos at 18.75.
(1 usd = 54.85 pesos)
|Philippines' Vivant to redeem preferred shares for conversion to common shares|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Vivant Corp said its board of directors has decided to redeem all outstanding preferred shares and re-issue them as new common shares.
It gave no other details in its disclosure to the stock exchange.
|Manila shares close sharply higher in line with regional market gains|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Share prices closed sharply higher in line with the strength of regional markets after Wall Street's overnight gains, dealers said.
Across-the-board buying accelerated as bargain-hunting in early trade pushed the key index above the resistance level, they said.
Investors were also seen taking more aggressive positions on expectations of positive third-quarter corporate and economic figures.
The composite index closed up 41.54 points, or 3.19 pct, at 1,345.20 on volume of 1.06 bln shares valued at 815.89 mln pesos. It traded between 1,307. 05 and 1,345.20.
Analysts had initially pegged the market's resistance at the 1,320 level.
In the broader market, gainers led losers 60 to eight, with 34 stocks unchanged.
Although pre-election political concerns remain, dealers said investors may also be positioning ahead of the Oct 18 visit of US President George W Bush.
The local bourse is also seen playing catch-up with other regional markets, with the peso strength against the US dollar adding inspiration, they said.
At the Philippine Dealing System, the peso averaged 54.855 to the US dollar at noon, compared with yesterday's close of 54.870.
"This rally is in line with the stronger regional markets, which followed overnight gains on Wall Street," Westlink Global Equities chairman Rommel Macapagal said.
"Buying accelerated after bargain-hunting early in the session pushed the index above resistance at 1,320, which helped established the momentum."
"Investors may have also factored in a stronger peso and could be taking positions ahead of the Bush visit," said Unicapital Securities senior analyst Elena Ponceca.
Accord Capital Equities analyst Lawrence de Leon said the rally could be sustained next week "on the back of encouraging economic indicators and expectations that third-quarter corporate numbers will be in line with projections or even better."
There have also been signs of improving economic environment in the US, he added.
After being net sellers previously, foreign investors were seen on the buying side today.
"We lagged recent regional rallies because of our political concerns so we're just catching up," said Citiseconline.com analyst Mark Alan Canizares.
SM Prime was top traded and up 0.30 pesos at 6.70 on volume of 24.70 mln shares.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 20.00 to 700.00 on 190,440 shares after its New York-listed American Depositary Receipts gained 0.10 usd to 12. 35 last night.
In its latest report, ING Financial Markets said it expects Smart Communications Inc to be on track to pay parent PLDT an additional dividend of 1.8 bln pesos in the last quarter of 2003.
It also sees another affiliate, Pilipino Telephone Corp, possibly adding value to PLDT.
Both Smart and Piltel have made impressive gains in the wireless business, according to ING, which maintains its "buy" call on PLDT and a 12-month price target of 780.00 pesos.
Ayala Land was up 0.20 at 6.30 on 10.55 mln shares, while Ayala Corp gained 0.15 to 4.85 on 9.55 mln shares.
Manila Electric B, open to foreign investors, was up 0.75 at 22.25 on 2. 24 mln shares and Meralco A up 0.25 at 14.75 on 686,200 shares.
Globe Telecom was up 25.00 at 725.00 on 63,950 shares.
ING expects Globe to offer soon more electronic re-loading services for its pre-paid wireless customers, drawing inspiration from the success of Smart Load product of rival Smart Communications.
Smart Load offers Smart subscribers low-denomination electronic re-loading through a nationwide network of retailers.
ING also expects quarter-on-quarter improvement in net subscriber additions for Globe in the third quarter, although Smart has been more successful in penetrating the mass market with Smart Load.
ING said it maintains its "buy" call on Globe, as well as its 12-month price target of 820.00 pesos.
Bank of the Philippine Islands rose 1.00 to 44.50 on 1.01 mln shares.
ING has reduced its profit forecasts for the BPI from this year until 2005 due to sluggish growth in the bank's loan portfolio, but maintains its "buy" recommendation on the stock.
It said BPI remains the most attractively valued of Philippine banks in terms of earnings.
ING has a 12-month target price of 50.00 pesos for BPI.
San Miguel B, available for foreigners, rose 2.00 to 63.00 on 660,000 shares, while San Miguel A was up 2.00 at 56.00 on 186,500 shares.
President Gloria Arroyo said there was no "political interference" in the anti-graft Sandiganbayan court's decision to lift the government's sequestration of businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr's 20 pct block of shares in San Miguel Corp.
Arroyo issued the statement amid insinuations that the government may have entered into a compromise deal with Cojuangco, who is considering running for the presidency in next year's elections, on the San Miguel ownership issue.
Megaworld was up 0.10 at 1.06 on 32.65 mln shares.
First Philippine Holdings rose 0.75 to 18.75 on 1.28 mln shares.
The all-shares index was up 12.80 points at 814.10.
The commercial-industrial index rose 57.78 to 1,971.75, while property advanced 23.95 to 592.37.
Mining was up 82.85 at 1,601.81, but oil was unchanged at 1.39.
Banking and financial services gained 10.21 to 445.40.
Westlink's Macapagal said the market could see some technical correction on Monday, but the general trend is "looking positive" for next week since buying momentum has been established, and barring any fresh negative developments.
|Philippines' Arroyo rules out political interference in San Miguel ruling|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - President Gloria Arroyo said there was no "political interference" in the anti-graft Sandiganbayan court's decision to lift the government's sequestration of businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr's 20 pct block of shares in San Miguel Corp.
Arroyo issued the statement amid insinuations that the government may have entered into a compromise deal with Cojuangco, who is considering running for the presidency in next year's elections, on the San Miguel ownership issue.
"We stand firm on good governance and we do not cut deals with the courts, " she said.
"Those imputing political interference are irresponsibly fishing for issues."
Two days after the Sandiganbayan made public its Sept 17 decision, opposition Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr predicted that Cojuangco, chairman emeritus of National People's Coalition political party, will soon announce his decision not to stand for election in May.
"It's very likely (that Cojuangco will no longer run for president)," the widely-circulated Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Pimentel as saying.
"It will be a big boost for the administration for the reason that it is now possible for President Arroyo to get the support of Cojuangco," he was further quoted as saying.
Arroyo has announced her bid for a full-term in next year's polls, reversing an earlier decision that she will retire.
Arroyo said the San Miguel case "has been under litigation for a long time and my administration has stood at arms length from the proceedings."
Her spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said yesterday the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), care-taker of what is being disputed as ill-gotten assets during the Marcos administration, will appeal the Sandiganbayan ruling.
The government has been contesting ownership of a 47 pct block of shares in San Miguel, as it alleges that Cojuangco used levies collected from coconut farmers during the Marcos administration to buy the shares.
Cojuangco disputed the allegations, saying he acquired the shares using his own money.
The court nullified the sequestration order the PCGG issued in 1986 on the disputed San Miguel shares on the ground that only one PCGG commissioner signed and issued the writ.
Under PCGG rules, a writ of sequestration should be issued on the authority of at least two commissioners.
The Sandiganbayan also dismissed as "misplaced" PCGG's argument that the Cojuangco group failed to show prima facie proof of the properties being legitimate acquisitions.
The court, however, imposed some restrictions on the disposition of the San Miguel shares Cojuangco holds, saying the government "continues to hold a claim on the shares, which is yet to be resolved."
Cojuangco's legal counsel Estelito Mendoza had also dismissed allegations of a compromise between Arroyo and the businessman.
At 11.30 am, San Miguel A shares were up 0.50 pesos at 54.50 and San Miguel B, open to foreign investors, up 1.50 to 62.50.
(1 usd = 54.85 pesos)
|Philippines' PNOC Exploration says sale of Malampaya stake 'in progress'|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - PNOC Exploration Corp, a unit of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co, said the sale of its 10 pct stake in the 4.5-bln usd Malampaya natural gas project is now "in progress."
It advised parties interested in acquiring the equity to execute a confidentiality agreement with the company to access data relevant to the participating interest.
At least 12 companies have received copies of the confidentiality agreement, but only three have signed so far, the company told the stock exchange, without identifying them.
"At the proper time, PNOC-EC will open access to the data room for due diligence (by) interested investors who have executed a confidentiality agreement with PNOC-EC," the company said.
The Malampaya gas is now being used for power generation.
The Malampaya project is being undertaken by a consortium including Shell Philippines Exploration BV and ChevronTexaco group, which have a 45 pct interest each.
|Philippines' Crown Equities unit in property JV with Santa Lucia|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Crown Equities Inc said Crown Central Properties Corp, its joint venture with Solid Share Holdings, has signed a memorandum of agreement with Santa Lucia Realty and Development Inc to develop a 28-hectare property in Laguna, south of Manila.
Under their agreement, Santa Lucia will develop the property owned by Crown Central into a middle-class residential subdivision within three years.
Crown Equities gave no other details in its disclosure to the stock exchange.
|Philippines Jan 1- Sept 26 net portfolio inflows up 127 pct yr-on-yr|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The country's net foreign portfolio investments rose 127 pct year-on-year to 423.5 mln usd in the period from Jan 1 to Sept 26, from 186.2 mln usd recorded in the same period last year, the central bank said.
The figures were sourced from five banks acting as custodians for portfolio investments in the country, central bank officer-in-charge Alberto Reyes said.
These banks report portfolio flows on a weekly basis to the central bank.
Investments by non-residents in government securities and money market instruments netted inflows of 159.3 mln usd and in peso bank deposits of 293. 6 mln usd.
The central bank said there was about 29.4 mln usd net outflow for the same period from investments in listed stocks.
During the same period last year, only investments in peso bank deposits had a net inflow, at 265.5 mln usd, with investment in listed stocks and in government securities or money market instruments posting net outflows of 63. 6 mln usd and 15.7 mln usd, respectively.
|Philippines' Petron signs contracts for 2 refinery units worth 63 mln usd|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Oil refiner Petron Corp said it has signed engineering, procurement and contraction (EPC) contracts for two refinery units that will enhance its compliance with the stringent petroleum product requirements under the Clean Air Act.
The contracts are worth around 63 mln usd.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Petron said it signed EPC contracts for Gas Oil Hydroheater No.3 and LVN Isomerization Unit projects with a consortium that includes Stone and Webster International Inc and Taiwan's CTCI Corp, for the amount of 49.17 mln usd plus 767.27 mln pesos.
Petron's refinery is located in Bataan, north of Manila.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Philippines rocked by earthquake|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale rocked the Philippines capital early today, but there were no reports of damage or casualties, government seismologists said.
The quake struck at 6.19 am with the epicenter in the South China Sea, west of Manila.
The temblor occurred 101 kilometers beneath the earth's crust, the seismology institute said.
|Philippines' Balabac Holdings resumes trading today - stock exchange|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Trading in shares of Balabac Resources and Holdings Co Inc resumes today after it secured the Securities and Exchange Commission's approval for its capital restructuring plan, the stock exchange said.
Following a four-day suspension of trading in Balabac shares, the exchange said the number of listed shares of the company in its official registry shall be reduced to 73.79 mln shares from 462.00 mln, effective today.
The SEC approved Balabac's application for a reduction in authorized capital stock to 73.79 mln pesos from the current 1.00 bln pesos to generate reduction surplus so as to partially wipe off its deficit.
Also approved was the company's plan to increase its authorized capital stock from 73.79 mln pesos to 5.00 bln, to cover subscription by Suturn Holdings Inc of some 1.23 bln shares.
Balabac last closed at 0.10 pesos.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Philippine SEC approves JG Summit Petrochemical's capital increase|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The Securities and Exchange Commission said it has approved JG Summit Petrochemical Corp's application to increase its authorized capital to 1.30 bln pesos from 155.67 mln.
The capital hike for JG Summit Petrochemical, which is a joint venture between JG Summit Holdings Inc and Marubeni Corp, is in line with plans to inject 7.70 bln pesos in fresh equity.
The capital injection is meant to reduce the firm's borrowing and make its operations more competitive and viable.
JG Summit Holdings, which owns 80.00 pct of the petrochemical firm, earlier said it will convert some 100.00 mln usd loans it extended to the unit into equity.
Marubeni, which owns the other 20.00 pct of the joint venture, has also agreed to extend a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to the joint venture and convert it into equity.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Development Bank of the Philippines NPL ratio 12.46 pct as of Sept 19|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines' (DBP) non-performing loans (NPLs) stood at 12.46 pct of total loans as of Sept 19, according to the bank's published statement of condition.
The bank earlier reported its NPL ratio at 10.31 pct as of June 19.
As of Sept 19, DBP's NPLs totalled 10.105 bln pesos, against general provisions of 1.93 bln and specific provisions of 4.22 bln.
Return on equity stood at 11.11 pct.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Philippine regulator asks Digitel Mobile to increase capital - report|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has asked Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc to increase its authorized capital stock to at least 600 mln pesos from 100 mln currently, TODAY newspaper reported.
Digitel Mobile, operator of Sun Cellular, is a unit of Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel).
The NTC required Digitel Mobile to increase its paid-up capital to maintain a debt-to-equity ratio of at most 70:30, the report said, citing the regulator's common carrier authorization division chief Edgardo Cabarios.
The report quoted Digitel senior vice president William Pamintuan as saying that the company would be able to comply with the NTC order within the six-month period set by the regulator.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Philippines' National Home Mortgage Finance to sell 14-bln peso NPLs - report|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The National Home Mortgage Finance Corp (NHMFC) plans to sell some 14 bln pesos worth of non-performing housing loans in what is seen as the first major sale under the new Special Purpose Assest Vehicle (SPAV) law, the Philippine Star reported.
Citing unidentified sources at the central bank's Monetary Board, the report said NHMFC was finalizing the portfolio of NPLs that would be sold through a competitive bidding.
The sale, however, is subject to the approval of government financial institutions that financed the housing programs under which the loans were released, the report said.
Incentives are available under the SPAV law for the transfer of bad assets from one company to another that will rehabilitate them.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Philippine National Bank to auction 100-mln peso bad assets Oct 23 - report|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - The Philippine National Bank (PNB) will hold a public auction on Oct 23 for 100 mln pesos worth of its foreclosed assets, BusinessWorld newspaper reported, citing auction manager CB Richard Ellis associate director Jojo Salas.
It will offer 88 properties in metropolitan Manila and southern Luzon area, he said.
PNB last month announced it sold 51 mln pesos worth of its foreclosed assets on Aug 28, marking the start of a series of public auctions to dispose of its billion pesos worth of acquired properties.
The bank said it is aiming to raise 2.50 bln pesos from sales of acquired assets this year.
PNB expects to book a net profit of around 100 mln pesos this year on the back of asset sales and increased fee-based gains and deposits.
The bank, which is equally owned by the government and businessman Lucio Tan, incurred a net loss of 1.90 bln pesos in 2002.
(1 usd = 54.87 pesos)
|Philippine banks end-Aug NPL ratio 14.96 pct vs 15.38 pct in July|
MANILA (AFX-ASIA) - Commercial banks' non-performing loans (NPL) stood at 14.96 pct of total loans as of end-August, easing from 15.38 pct at end-July, the central bank said.
No other details were immediately available.
"There were loan collections and restructuring," central bank officer-in-charge Alberto Reyes said, explaining the drop in the NPL ratio.
|Philippine economic and corporate news summary LYQ81|
BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) - A summary of Philippine economic and corporate news at 1000 GMT:
-Sept motor vehicle sales up 4.30 pct yr/yr, down 8.30 pct mth/mth
-Govt approves bidding rules for Napocor's re-insurance coverage
-Philippines to appeal against order lifting sequestration on San Miguel- Bunye
-Central Bank says not in currency market today
-Banco de Oro says 9 mths net profit likely exceeded yr-ago level
-Banco de Oro says may exceed 1.35 bln pesos fy net profit target
-Chinabank says 9 mths net profit hit 2.0-bln peso mark
-Philippine Balabac Holdings' suspension to be lifted tomorrow - exchange
-Philippine Unioil Resources' trading suspension lifted - stock exchange
-Chemphil sells 4.79 pct stake in Kemwater to unit LMG Chemicals
-Metrobank sells 40 pct stake in Metrobank Card to ANZ Funds Pty
-Republic Glass cash dividend 0.15 pesos
-Lepanto receives BOI incentives for Victoria II gold mining project
-SEC cuts penalties on Makati Finance for late filings by 50 pct