Biz Buzz: Metrobank’s changing of the guard | Inquirer Business
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Biz Buzz: Metrobank’s changing of the guard

/ 11:59 PM January 31, 2012

Metrobank’s Arthur Ty is the youngest president among those running the country’s major banks, but we won’t be surprised if he gives up day-to-day operations to assume bigger responsibilities in his family’s banking crown jewel.

He is far from retirement of course, but there is a rising expectation around town that Ty will soon—maybe as soon as after the bank’s next stockholders’ meeting—be named as chair of Metrobank while mentor Antonio Abacan Jr. will be tasked to oversee other businesses within the group which, aside from banking, is also into real estate, automotive, power generation and other stuff.

All this is said to be part of taipan George Ty’s preparation for retirement and bid to transfer greater responsibilities to the second generation, according to our sources.

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The younger Ty, beyond being simply the child of owner, or COO, has of course proven himself worthy after leading Metrobank’s rigorous house-cleaning over the past few years. Within the group, there’s concurrence that he is ripe to assume this more senior post (and again make history by being the youngest bank chair in town).

This brings us to the next crucial question as to who Ty’s successor will be. Most bets are on Metrobank’s senior executive vice president Fabian Dee, an alumnus of Security Bank. An Arthur-Fabian team-up is believed to be good for Metrobank because Fabian, who handles the bank’s branches, is characterized as a “builder” and a good complement to Arthur’s conservatism.

If this happens, this will be the first changing of the guard among the country’s major banks, some of which have CEOs who are up for retirement.

Everyone is also eagerly awaiting, for instance, who will end up at the helm of BPI, after the extension of Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III’s term lapses next year. Unlike Metrobank where the next possible president has narrowed down to a single name, it’s more difficult to guess the succession in BPI.—Doris C. Dumlao

GA case moves forward … finally

The legal woes of beleaguered businessman Delfin Lee seem to have been compounded after Pasay City prosecutor Elmer Mitra recently approved the filing of estafa charges (for allegedly falsifying public documents) against the president of Globe Asiatique Realty and Development Corp. and his son Dexter Lee, who is the company’s executive vice president.

In the prosecutor’s resolution, it was said that both Lees appear to have used falsified contracts to sell deeds of assignment to induce Philippine National Bank—which filed the complaint—to release various loan proceeds worth about P1 billion.

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This is the first criminal case successfully filed in court against the elder Lee in connection with his alleged real estate scam.

Previously, an injunction was issued by Pasig City RTC Judge Rolando Mislang preventing the Department of Justice from filing a syndicated estafa case in court. Incidentally, PNB was also the first creditor to file a civil case against Globe Asiatique and its owner, and this led to the filing of other cases against the real estate developer.

Sources say that both the elder and younger Lee hurriedly posted bail (to head off the service of warrants of arrest against them, perhaps?).

The PNB criminal case was filed by lawyers Simeon Marcelo, Augusto San Pedro Jr. and Victor Pangilinan from the Villaraza Cruz Marcelo and Angangco law office, who are also the same lawyers handling the civil case filed by the Lucio Tan-owned bank.—Daxim L. Lucas

Bringing the bulls in

Everyone’s busy selling investment opportunities in the Philippines, especially because it’s definitely not a hard-sell these days.

The Philippine Stock Exchange, for one, has teamed up with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to conduct a three-day international road show to promote the stock market and Philippine companies at the Citibank Tower in Central Hong Kong starting Wednesday.

“The huge turnout of the participants in the event supports what we have been saying all along—that the Philippines is being strongly considered as a viable investment destination by international investors. While the stock market has been benefiting from favorable news coming from the US and Europe, the contribution of the renewed interest of global investors in the Philippine growth story cannot be undermined,” PSE president Hans Sicat said.

JP Morgan Chase, for its part, has conducted an investment conference that brought in regional and global institutional investors to Manila.  Though JP Morgan has been doing this in the last few years, interest is extraordinarily high this year, with investors’ attendance surging 62 percent and participating corporations rising from 21 to 33, said Cecille Suarez, head of JP Morgan Securities.

Strike while the iron is hot.—Doris C. Dumlao

Where’s the money?

Those interested in getting into the UP Professional Schools in Global City, Taguig City, will have to wait a little longer to enrol because the facility has not even broken ground yet.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the UP Professional Schools, which will be erected on a 4,300-square-meter lot donated by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, was originally scheduled for November 2011, but did not push through. No word yet on a new schedule.

Sources say that the construction schedule has been delayed because the UP community is still waiting for the funds that a number of sitting senators (products of UP) have promised to shell out.

As to when they will release the funds from their pork barrel is anybody’s guess.

The UP Professional Schools at the Fort Bonifacio Global City will offer post-graduate courses, initially from the College of Law, School of Statistics, College of Engineering, College of Business Administration and the Open University.—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

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TAGS: Arthur Ty, Bank, Banking, court, Delfin Lee, Dexter Lee, Education, estafa, Globe Asiatique, Metrobank, Philippine Stock Exchange, road show, UP Professional Schools
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