Biz Buzz: Imminent union
The union of the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Philippine Dealing System (PDS) group looks on track to meet the 90-day target to come up with a definitive framework. Sources privy to the discussions said most issues had been resolved, with share valuation as the only remaining hurdle.
As to previous stumbling blocks, it has been agreed that to align the payrolls of the merging capital market infrastructures, the top officials of PDS (with emphasis on one particular official) will be given a generous retirement package, or what people fondly call a “golden parachute.” As the merger will happen through a share-swap transaction, most of the investors in the exchanges have also agreed to stay put.
Meanwhile, the Bankers Association of the Philippines and Singapore Exchange Ltd.—the biggest stockholders of PDS with a combined interest of 46 percent—have tapped KMPG as their adviser to conduct a valuation of the shares to be swapped. JP Morgan is the adviser of the PSE side on the negotiating table.
There’s no stopping the merger, especially with regulators closely monitoring its progress. The usual line whenever someone from the negotiating panel of either side bumps into regulators: “Is it done yet?”—Doris C. Dumlao
iRemit, MyRemit, whose remit?
The money transfer business continues to grow as more Filipinos cast their eyes on jobs overseas to add to the billions of dollars ($8.78 billion of as May) already being sent home annually.
But perhaps as a victim of its own success, one non-bank remittance company has grown irked that its name, or rather something with a similar ring to it, is being used by a smaller but potentially influential competitor.
We’re talking about the Tiu family’s iRemit, a leading non-bank money transfer firm that is also listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, and MyRemit, which is owned by the international unit of ABS-CBN Corp.
We heard that iRemit is in talks with its lawyers over what it believes is causing confusion for its customers. It is claimed that the rival was also “riding on our goodwill.”
iRemit, owned by the same group behind Sterling Bank and the Discovery hotel chain, said it has not decided yet on how it would proceed with the issue.
MyRemit, recently re-branded from the less catchy Easy Remit, falls under ABS-CBN Global, the same unit that operates The Filipino Channel (TFC), the company’s overseas arm.
It was hard to get a handle on the size of MyRemit although information provided by ABS-CBN indicated that it was aggressively expanding in the Middle East as well as the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
It’s too early to say how this matter would resolve itself. ABS-CBN, when asked by Biz Buzz for comment, has yet to respond. In the meantime, it might be good for OFWs to read the names of their money service providers more carefully or risk having their beneficiaries receive “no remit.”—Miguel R. Camus
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