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Biz Buzz: Young billionaires

By the Staff
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:51:00 02/15/2011

Filed Under: Markets & Exchanges, Financing an Stock Offerings, clubs, Lifestyle & Leisure, Stock broking, Television, Ratings

IT MAY be debuting during a lackluster phase in the stock market but construction and engineering firm Megawide Corp.?led by 30-something civil engineers Michael Cosiquien and Edgar Saavedra?is seeking to make their company?s listing on the PSE Ayala trading floor sizzle on Friday with ?hot? guests.

Following the recent tradition of bringing show-biz personalities into the trading floor on listing day, Megawide will have as its main guest actress Anne Curtis, the new face of SM Development Corp. Apart from Megawide being a major contractor of SMDC (which accounts for 70 percent of its business), the Sy family has actually bought into this IPO and acquired a 20-percent block. Aside from Curtis, floor traders who are weary of thin trading volumes and heavy foreign selling since the start of 2011 could at least look forward to an international mix of Brazilian, Swedish, American and Thai models gracing the trading floor on Friday.

With the SM group (through an unlisted company) single-handedly accounting for 60 percent of Megawide?s P2.29-billion IPO, the offering was 3.5 times oversubscribed despite the weak market and the pricing of the offering at the high end of the range.

But apart from the SM group, some large institutional investors like Filipino-Chinese businessman Ben Chan?s Suyen Corp. (owner of Bench) and BDO Trust participated in the IPO as of last week?s closing, our stock market sources said. Food-and-beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has also expressed interest to buy in?which could benefit the construction firm?s bid to expand into infrastructure building?but there weren?t enough shares left for sale.

For Filipino youngsters who have made Bruno Mars? ?Billionaire? their anthem, Saavedra and Cosiquien could just be their idols. Upon listing on Friday, Megawide will have a market capitalization of about P6.72 billion, which means the young construction magnates? respective stake of 29.54 percent and 26.44 percent will be valued at close to P2 billion each. And they?re not even 40. And sorry ladies, they?re both taken.?Doris C. Dumlao

Affordable luxury

AFTER successfully transforming one of Metro Manila?s biggest eyesores into the gleaming Alphaland Southgate Tower, the real-estate firm controlled by businessman and dealmaker Roberto ?Bobby? Ongpin is now setting its sights on a more ambitious project in Makati City.

The company has begun marketing its latest project, the City Club, located at a new residential-commercial complex right across from the Makati Fire Station complex along Ayala Avenue.

Targeted at upwardly mobile yuppies, the City Club has around two hectares of floor space in three stories, sandwiched between a three-story mall and a three-tower residential condo complex (the entire project being dubbed the ?Makati Place?).

Marketing brochures that Alphaland is just about to distribute say that the City Club will have facilities like a gym, a boxing ring, an aerobics and yoga studio, conference rooms and a business center, tennis and badminton courts, a basketball court, and three swimming pools, among others.

?What we are offering is everything that one can find in Manila Polo Club, minus the horses,? Alpahland president Mario Oreta said, who explained that the exclusive club aims to attract members who find other venues like the Tower Club too elitist and stuffy.

Shares at the City Club are selling for P500,000 each and the project will be completed in late 2012, he said.?Daxim L. Lucas

Speaking of luxury...

FOUR months after moving to their new building in Bonifacio Global City, the Villaraza Cruz Marcelo and Angangco Law Office (aka CVC Law or ?The Firm?) seems to have settled in quite nicely, despite leaving their old action-packed digs in the center of Makati.

The Firm?s new home is an imposing 11-story gray building on the north side of the newly developed business district, with a commanding view that extends past the Ortigas area (the only downside being the community of ?informal settlers? near the Pasig River, if one looks down).

To keep the lawyers well fed, a fine-dining restaurant called Rainmakers is located at the penthouse, operated by restaurateur Gaita Fores (the cousin of one of The Firm?s clients, Mar Roxas).

Portraits of founding partners Avelino Cruz, Pancho Villaraza, Raoul Angangco and Sonny Marcelo grace the entrance of the restaurant, leaving no questions as to who the firm?s rainmakers are.

There is also an adjacent bar named Disbar (lawyers? humor, go figure), while the idea to name one of the lounges Omerta was supposedly thumbed down.

The building also has a helipad for VIP clients who prefer to come in and out in secret.

The law firm occupies seven of the 11 floors while the rest are set to be rented out.

It?s a far cry from their old home, the controversial LTA Building along Perea St., and far from controversial political relationships as well. (But not for very long, some observers are betting.)?Daxim L. Lucas

CitisecOnline on a roll

LEADING online stock brokerage CitisecOnline now has a retail investor base of 16,000 active clients, equivalent to more than half the client base of many big banks? private banking or trust units.

How else can the brokerage house maximize this scale of retail clients? It soon plans to distribute mutual funds managed by reputable fund managers. What?s more, it hopes to use the same online platform to allow retail investors to trade not just equities but also fixed income instruments, subject to accreditation from the Bankers Association of the Philippines-led fixed income exchange, Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.?Doris C. Dumlao

Mirror, mirror on the airwaves

HOW can a television network boost ratings without even touching its existing programming?

One way may be to simply saturate the airwaves with its programs and flood the competition out of the way.

Word on the street is that ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. is exploring the idea of entering into a ?blocktime? agreement with the management of IBC-13 for the latter to mimic the former?s programs.

The idea is for ABS-CBN to take advantage of the sequestered station?s ?superior channel positioning? to overcome frequent viewers? complaints about the broadcast giant?s weak signal in some key areas in the crucial ?Mega Manila? area.

Both ABS-CBN chairman Gabby lopez and president Charo Santos-Concio are supposedly convinced that the station?s signal woes are capping its ratings (giving even loyal viewers little choice but to watch other channels).?Daxim L. Lucas

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



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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