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Biz Buzz: Jumping ship

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Biz Buzz: Jumping ship

/ 12:18 AM September 04, 2015

CRITICS of this controversial takeover artist are grinning ear-to-ear with the filing of criminal charges against their enemy.

Saying that “karmic forces” have finally caught up with him, whom they describe as a “scheming” businessman, his enemies are closely watching how government prosecutors will resolve the case.

Creditors and even banker friends of the businessman are also keeping an eye on the case, lest they be left holding the proverbial empty bag should their client face jail time for a non-bailable offense.

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According to Biz Buzz sources, the high-flying businessman who has packaged himself as a “white knight” to distressed companies, is moving “heaven and earth” to have the criminal charges dismissed pronto. There are even talks that he is ready to “jump ship” and be a state witness to pin down his “partners in crime.”

The charges stemmed from his alleged involvement in a multi-million-peso shady deal with an equally controversial politician who is facing a string of bad luck.

Because of the well-publicized criminal complaint, the businessman, also said to be a favorite “front” or “dummy” of corrupt government officials, is facing the grim specter of his politician-partners pulling out their hefty “investments” in his private companies.

If this happens, expect a very public and shameful fall out for this tough-talking executive. Commenting on his bad luck, the businessman’s enemies could only say buti nga. Daxim L. Lucas

 

PH banks on top

A DOZEN Philippine banks made it to the 2015 list of the world’s top 1,000 banks as drawn up by London-based magazine The Banker, which has been benchmarking banks across the planet since the 1970s.

At the top of the heap among local players is Banco de Oro Unibank, which rose to 255th place in the global ranking this year from 268th last year. Bank of the Philippine Islands is at 338th place while Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. is at 345th place.

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BDO—led by the Sy family of conglomerate SM Investments Corp.—is also the most valuable Philippine bank with a market capitalization of about P357 billion. BPI is valued at P332 billion and Metrobank, P265 billion.

Other local banks on the Top 1000 list are: Philippine National bank, 478th; Land Bank of the Philippines, 566th; China Banking Corp., 611th; Security Bank Corp., 660th; Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.,683rd; Union Bank of the Philippines,754th; United Coconut Planters Bank, 972nd; Philtrust Bank,973rd, and Asia United Bank , 977th.

Globally, the list was dominated by Chinese banks. ICBC and China Construction Bank ranked first and second, followed by JP Morgan, Bank of China and Bank of America. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Anne 3.0

If Security Bank has beauty queen Megan Young and East West Bank has world-class boxer Manny Pacquiao, Metrobank’s thrift bank arm—Philippine Savings Bank—has actress and social media darling Anne Curtis as its brand ambassador.

PSBank has renewed Curtis’ contract as its celebrity endorser for the third consecutive year. The actress will be featured in PSBank’s digital innovation campaigns and savings products.

“Ms Anne Curtis is the perfect endorser for PSBank because she exemplifies young Filipinos who are always mobile and are hugely dependent in today’s technological innovations,” PSBank senior vice president Emmanuel Tuazon said.

The tech-savvy Curtis endorsed some publicly listed firms in the past, including a housing developer (SM Development Corp.) and a food manufacturer (Century Pacific’s Century Tuna). Recently, she has taken a direct stake in Xeleb Inc., a subsidiary of consumer technology firm Xurpas Inc.

Going back to PSBank, Curtis said of her new client/bank: “It’s great that PSBank is constantly keeping up with its clients’ needs. My favorite service is PSBank Mobile, which has proven very useful to me. Despite my hectic lifestyle, I get to check out all my accounts on my smartphone without stressing about going to the bank. It’s really a relaxing way to bank.” Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

No more umbrellas for Abaya

NOBODY likes traffic. It makes people miss appointments, causes commuters to soil their clothes and generally ruins already stressful days.

A lot of this anger—and ironic humor—is directed toward government officials the public trusts to solve these problems, and lately, few get as much flak as Transportation secretary Joseph Abaya.

Recently, photographs have been circulating online showing Abaya doing a train inspection with a bodyguard holding up an umbrella for him. The images bear either the the words “King Abaya” or a collage of other photographs of members of the British royal family carrying their umbrellas.

Admittedly, the images tickled our funny bones but Abaya told us that what the pictures portrayed were not accurate.

Apparently, it was just an “overprotective” bodyguard who wanted to make sure his boss didn’t get catch a cold from the rain.

As the secretary tackles a seemingly endless list of transport-related woes, a public relations lesson was learned and no one will be holding up his umbrellas for him anymore.

“They’ve been warned,” Abaya quipped. Miguel R. Camus

Agri, front and center

THE PHILIPPINES is hosting on Sept. 7-11 in Makati City the 37th annual Asean Agriculture and Forestry Ministers meet to tackle matters related to shoring up food security in the region, such as harmonizing standards on pesticides.

Multinational agro-chemical firms that operate in the region say uniform standard would help encourage investments on crop protection as well as help make Filipino farmers become more competitive.

According to Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano, the meetings are expected to result in the approval of the 2015-2025 Asean Plus Three Bioenergy and Food Security Framework and the 2016-2020 Plan of Action for the Asean-India Cooperation in Agriculture and Forestry.

Serrano said the ministers are also expected to approve other major strategic plans, standards, guidelines as well as regional statements on areas like animal health, food security, nutrition, and MRLs (maximum residue limits) for pesticides used in popular vegetables like eggplants and green leafy ones.

The Singapore-based CropLife Asia says harmonized rules will help to ensure that farmers have access to the technology needed to mitigate climate change and weather event impact, disease, pests.

Siang Hee Tan, executive director of CropLife Asia, says such improved access will be made possible through a science-based risk assessment approach, evidence-based evaluation and approval of products, uniform labelling guidelines, and effective communication about labelling standards.

CropLife Asia counts among its member-companies BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC, Monsanto, Sumitomo Chemical, and Syngenta.

Citing data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, Tan says the Philippine pesticide market has ballooned almost three times to $232 million in 2012 from $86 million in 2002.

“One of the factors that helped this growth is our efforts over the past 14 years for Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members to expand the list of mutually recognized maximum residue limits or MRLs for pesticides to over 1,000 such MRLs,” Tan says. Ronnel Domingo

E-mail us at bizbuzz@inquirer.com.ph. Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: Banco de Oro Unibank, creditors, crime, criminal charges, CropLife Asia, Joseph Abaya, Karmic Forces, Non-Bailable Offense
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