Biz Buzz: Burying the hatchet | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Burying the hatchet

/ 01:07 AM January 02, 2015

While passengers were languishing at Manila’s Naia Terminal 3 last Friday, a little Christmas cheer was being spread farther south by the new management of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Remember the row last year between the Gotianuns’ Filinvest Group and the Megawide Construction Corp.-GMR Infrastructure group over the Cebu airport deal? It was bitter, with the opposing camps trading criticisms openly.

But now that the coveted P17.5-billion contract was already won by the Megawide Group, the bitterness seems to have already disappeared and both parties appear to have already moved on.


A proof came last Friday when former Filinvest Land CEO Joseph Yap (husband of current CEO Lourdes Josephine Gotianun-Yap) and family were queuing at the new Cebu airport terminal.


Biz Buzz sources familiar with the situation said the Yaps were minding their own business at the airport—although it was hard for people not to recognize such personalities. Certainly, the GMR-Megawide team managing the airport did notice them and sent a customer relations assistant to, well, assist the Yaps.

Our sources said the GMR-Megawide team took that opportunity to extend to the Yaps an invitation to an event at the airport next month. And the Yaps said yes, we heard.

Despite reports of delays in the terminal project implementation, we have already noted some improvements at the facility such as a neater arrival area with a greener look (there are now a lot more indoor plants in the airport).

Megawide-GMR has promised the Cebuanos and the rest of the Philippines a truly international hub, and we’re expecting nothing less. Miguel R. Camus

Most valuable PH firm

As the market ended a volatile trading year, Sy family-led conglomerate SM Investments Corp. stood out as the country’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of P635.88 billion.


Telecom giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. wasn’t too far behind as a runner-up, ending the year with a market valuation of P628.29 billion. PLDT was weighed down by lower-than-expected third quarter earnings, resulting in 2014 earnings downgrades.

In the last two years, SMIC and PLDT have been on a neck-and-neck race to be the country’s most important stock. The title was held by PLDT for many years until 2012 when SMIC grabbed the spotlight.

In the last trading day of 2014 on Dec. 19, SMIC shares were up by 2.07 percent while PLDT shares were down by 0.07 percent.

SMIC—the country’s dominant player in banking, property and retailing—is deemed as a good proxy to the Philippine economy.

As the peso is widely seen to depreciate given the strengthening of the US dollar, consumer spending in the country—aided by remittances from overseas- is seen favoring SM’s core businesses in the coming year. Doris C. Dumlao

OFW story

Because the Yuletide season is also a homecoming season for many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), some of the country’s largest conglomerates came up with creative ways to give tribute to these unsung heroes.

SM Investments Corp. gave exclusive discounts to holders of SM Global Pinoy or BDO Kabayan cards and prepared grand homecoming celebrations at selected SM Supermalls featuring celebrities.

In early December, Bank of the Philippine Islands honored the 10 outstanding children of Pinoy expats.

A Hong Kong-based mother who could not go home for the holidays got a big surprise, courtesy of the Lucio Tan group’s Philippine National Bank and Philippine Airlines.

The Tan companies sent to Hong Kong the husband and son of 53-year-old Miriam Carpio, who has been working in Hong Kong for 17 years now, so they could celebrate Christmas together.

The surprise family reunion was documented and uploaded by PNB in YouTube under the title: “A Mother’s Christmas Story.” Doris C. Dumlao

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TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business, column, filinvest group, Lucio Tan, Megawide Construction Corp., ofws, Philippine Airlines, PLDT, SM

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