Biz Buzz: Project proposal do’s and don’t’s | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Project proposal do’s and don’t’s

/ 12:23 AM June 09, 2014

Just like other aspects in life, there are do’s and don’t’s when it comes to making unsolicited proposals for big-ticket infrastructure deals to President Aquino.

Already on shaky ground, given the administration’s well-known bias against unsolicited deals, proponents can still get their message across without rubbing the commander in chief the wrong way.

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For example, it is perfectly okay to submit a comprehensive proposal, including what the private sector would earn, while clearly outlining how it would benefit the Filipino people.

What is not okay is when groups propose project names with “Aquino” or “Aguinaldo” attached to them, thinking they would gain some extra advantage with their intended audience. Not so, according to Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, a great-grandson of revolutionary hero Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippines’s first President.

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In fact, more than not giving a project any extra advantage, it could possibly irk those who make decisions at the top. “We told them to quit that style. It won’t fly,” Abaya quipped in a recent chat with reporters.

Then we worried about what became of the multibillion-dollar airport-seaport proposal of All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (ARRC) consortium, led by the group of William Tieng of the Solar Group, in the Sangley Point, Cavite area.

You see, ARRC last year submitted proposals for an airport-seaport project, which it called Aquino-Sangley International Airport and the Aguinaldo-Sangley International Seaport, respectively. Oh, dear.

Then no more was heard of the ARRC proposal as the transportation department said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency was preparing another study for a $10-billion international airport in Sangley.

But worry not ARRC supporters, Abaya said no final decision was made and all proposals would be considered once finalized.

That includes San Miguel Corp.’s planned $10-billion airport plan in Manila Bay, which company president Ramon Ang was wise enough not to name after any administration incumbent. Miguel Camus

 

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Owning ‘BDO Unibank’

 

After years of brawling over trademark rights in five countries, the Sy-family led Banco de Oro Unibank has entered into a peace accord with another entity that uses the “BDO” trademark globally.

BDO Unibank has successfully concluded a worldwide trademark use and co-existence agreement with Stichting BDO, one of the world’s biggest international networks of public accounting, tax consultancy and specialist advisory firms, which in turn uses “BDO International.”

Signed by the two BDOs was an agreement envisioned to protect the mutual interests of both parties in their respective global brands, effectively settling various trademark disputes in the Philippines, Hong Kong, United States, Italy and United Kingdom.

Note that BDO has been using “BDO Unibank” even if the “bank” in unibank is redundant to the “banco” in the anagram. This is to distinguish BDO the bank from BDO the accounting firm. Banco de Oro has been the trade name of BDO Unibank since 1997. On the other hand, Stichting BDO’s use of the letters “BDO” can be traced from the abbreviation of its previous name “Binder, Djiker & Otte.” Stichting previously filed an infringement case against BDO Unibank in the Philippines, spawning a multitude of trademark disputes abroad.

Prior to this compromise settlement, BDO Unibank has already obtained favorable judgments in the Philippines, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, while the cases in the US and Italy remained pending.

After several rounds of negotiations between the parties, the worldwide disputes were finally resolved recently with the signing of the global trademark use and co-existence agreement in London, attended to by the respective chief executive officers of the two BDOs.

For BDO Unibank, this “co-existence” compromise deal removes obstacles to its more than 300 trademark applications in more than 50 countries worldwide. These applications are now expected to flourish to full trademark registrations, thereby complementing BDO’s overall global expansion strategy. Doris C. Dumlao

Wash and Taylor

If there’s a prize for the most mature attendee at last Friday’s Taylor Swift concert at the MOA Arena, nonagenarian accounting guru Washington Sycip would get the grand prize.

Mr. Sycip, who is turning 93 this June 30, convinced fund manager Wilson Sy to watch the Manila leg of Swift’s “Red” concert with him. Not that he’s a big fan of the 22-year-old American pop star but apparently, our elderly gentleman wanted to “watch and understand the phenomenon of young female juveniles going gaga” over likes of Swift and British boy band One Direction.

The SGV founder was initially seated at the corporate suite for VIPs at the Arena, together with Wilson Sy and SM Prime president Hans Sy, but disappeared afterwards. It turned out that they had gone down to be closer to where the action was. As part of Mr. Sycip’s market research, he had to get into the vibe and join the hysteria, enjoying the crowd of shrieking and singing teens. He actually stayed until close to the end of the concert, missing only the last song in the repertoire.

Now, that’s immersion. Doris C. Dumlao

Despedida for Cueto

She had wanted to slip out quietly, saying big parties are not her thing, but after 13 years of service and virtually becoming their “mother,” the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission did not let Commissioner Juanita Cueto go without a big bang.

On Thursday night, a grand despedida was held for Cueto, who was leaving the SEC after serving two terms. 3rd Avenue, a much sought wedding band, serenaded the guests over early dinner during the send-off party. Staff from the SEC’s provincial offices who could not attend the party likewise sent heart-warming video messages along those sent by surprise celebrity well-wishers like Derek Ramsey and Boy Abunda.

Business leaders were there to send off Cueto as well, including former Philippine Stock Exchange president Francis Lim, who said she was “not a regulator to be feared but a partner in the development of the capital market.” PSE chair Jose “Titoy” Pardo and former SEC chair Fe Barin likewise graced the occasion.

SEC Secretary Gerard Lukban recalled that during a crisis situation in 2008 when the SEC was in hot water after issuing a cease-and-desist order against Meralco, it was then that Cueto nearly perished from an aneurysm. But while she was still in the ICU recuperating, Cueto was still tracking the news and what Lukban was saying to the press. More than a boss to the SEC staff, he said Cueto was a friend and a mother to all of them. Doris C. Dumlao

Shareholder activism

Former Philippine Stock Exchange president and Accra lawyer Francis Lim is taking his advocacy to the next level through a summit of the Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines (which he also heads, incidentally).

Set for June 18 at the Dusit Hotel in Makati City, SharePHIL’s summit will feature Ambassador Asif Ahman of the United Kingdom, David Gerald of the Securities Investors Association of Singapore, Lilia de Lima of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Manuel V. Pangilinan of PLDT.

The  panelists will react to the presentations of Edgar Chua of Shell Philippines, Ed Francisco of BDO Capital, Joey Lim of Metro Pacific Investment Corp., Guillermo Luz of the National Competitiveness Council and Cora dela Paz of SharePHIL, among others.

SharePHIL was founded in 2012. Its mission is to be a major player in promoting domestic capital market development through advocacy, education and enlightenment of shareholders.

The question is: Will the event be a no-holds-barred investment summit? Let’s see. Daxim L. Lucas

Dawning of futures

Executives of index provider MSCI and Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) are in town to help prepare for the Philippine launch of a futures product with local equities as underlying instruments.

To recall, the first futures product based on PSE-listed stocks was launched in SGX in November last year using stocks under the MSCI Philippines as the underlying goods.

As the intention is to ultimately have the PSE’s own futures products traded at its bourse, MSCI and SGX officials have spoken to trading participants in the last two days to talk about the development of the local futures market.

A futures refers to an agreement to buy or sell a certain product based on a standardized contract for settlement in the future (hence the name). This product matches the need of hedgers with investors taking speculative positions.

PSE officials are hopeful that the first local equity-linked futures product could be launched in the country by next year. Doris C. Dumlao

E-mail us at [email protected] 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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