Latest Stories

Biz Buzz

Top of the banking heap


In what could be a milestone for the local banking scene, international trade publication FinanceAsia last Friday named BDO Universal Bank the best bank in Asia during its annual country awards in Singapore.

Yes, you heard it right: Best in Asia, mainly because the Henry Sy-owned mega financial institution “performed especially well in profitability and loans to assets,” according to FinanceAsia.

This marked the first time a Philippine bank was named the best in Asia, as the usual winners include names like Singapore’s DBS, or Hong Kong-based HSBC. BDO also broke the three-year winning streak of Public Bank of Malaysia.

According to FinanceAsia, the award reflects “the rise in fortunes of the country, notably its improved credit rating.”

“BDO people worked hard for it, and I’m very proud of them,” BDO chair Teresita Sy-Coson beamed, soon after the award was announced.

The criteria include profitability, net interest margin, loan-to-asset ratios, return on equity, price-to-book ratios, non-performing loan levels and analyst ratings, as well as credit ratings.

BDO beat other shortlisted banks which included ICBC (China), HDFC (India), Bank Central Asia (Indonesia), Shinhan Financial (Korea), Public Bank (Malaysia), DBS (Singapore), CTBC (Taiwan) and Siam Commercial Bank (Thailand).  Daxim L. Lucas

Abandon ship

Not only is its existing office building old and cramped but, for its own safety, the Securities and Exchange Commission must move out of its Edsa corner Ortigas Ave. premises soon. It need not wait for its new headquarters (earlier reported to be in the works at Bonifacio Global City’s future government financial cluster) to rise.

No less than the Department of Public Works and Highways advised the SEC to urgently set up shop elsewhere, citing the structural defects of the building which might not be able to withstand a strong earthquake.

At a time when the metropolis is said to be running out of office space, here comes the SEC, adding itself to the unmet demand. SEC chair Teresita Herbosa said the corporate watchdog is looking to rent about 4,000 square meters of office space for a five-year period (assuming that putting up a new building will take longer).

Some officials hope that the relocation will take place in the first quarter of 2014.

Industry sources said one of the buildings earlier considered by the SEC to be its interim home is the Urban Bank (now Export Bank) building on the corner of Gil Puyat Ave. and Chino Roces Ave. in Makati City. But after seeing the area submerged in floodwaters during the recent monsoon rains, SEC’s top brass had a rethink.

Now, while the current SEC building is deemed unworthy to house the country’s corporate regulators, the ground on which it stands is a strategically located and valuable piece of real estate from which the SEC can unlock values.

Furthermore, this site benefits from good feng shui, Herbosa said. As such, while the SEC is still keen on joining the government cluster in BGC, it reserves the option of building on the current site. Expect joint venture proposals from big property developers to reach the SEC’s top brass soon.  Doris C. Dumlao

Nadecor majority fires back

You may have read Jose Ricafort’s side in the ongoing corporate tussle involving Nationwide Development Corp., which owns the rights to the multibillion-dollar King-King mining project in Compostela Valley. Now hear the side of Conrado Calalang and Ambassador Roberto Romulo.

According to them, no less than the Court of Appeals decided in February of this year that the Calalang board is the legitimate board of directors of Nadecor.

The Court of Appeals also issued a permanent injunction that day prohibiting the Ricafort board from acting on behalf of Nadecor.

More importantly, Ambassador Romulo told Biz Buzz that the Ricafort group is not the company’s majority shareholder since they controlled only 25 percent of Nadecor’s stock, compared to 67 percent held by the Calalang group, its ally St. Agustine Gold and Copper Ltd., and independent investors.

Meanwhile, Queensberry Mining led by former Sen. Manuel Villar had indeed paused in its plan to invest directly in Nadecor (due to the corporate squabble). Later, it invested its funds in St. Agustine, thus guaranteeing its support for the project.

The Calalang group now believes that the Ricafort faction wants to create sufficient negative publicity about the firm and the project to make St. Agustine waver in its financial commitment to the group—and thus, derail the King-King project. Now we know both sides.  Daxim L. Lucas

No disruption

On concerns of some stock market folk that the “anti-monopoly” case may scuttle the existing depository system that also includes equities (from which the bulk of its revenues come), the Philippine Dealing System Holdings (PDS) Group issued a statement to allay fears of disruption.

PDS said the existing court case at the Supreme Court was “not expected to affect the services of its subsidiary, Philippine Depository and Trust Corp. (PDTC), to the equities market.”

“The petition seeks no relief from the high court that would render PDTC incapable from continuing the depository function for the equities market under the Philippine Stock Exchange. We assure the equities market that business shall continue as usual, and that PDS Group does not anticipate any untoward effects on the equities depository. We remain steadfast in providing the service,” PDS said.  Doris C. Dumlao

Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Business , corporate trends , economy , News


    DINAIG pa ng BDO ang BPI! Jahe sa BPI!

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • LPA enters PH, to bring rains and thunderstorms
  • Sing-along saint: Showbiz world gets papal inspiration
  • Two-thirds of underwater search done, no sign of MH370
  • S. Korea prosecutors turn to mobile app for ferry probe
  • 31 dead in Holy Week incidents—NDRRMC
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace