Declined by PNB
NEWLY MINTED billionaire Nix Nolledo—the head honcho at listed IT firm Xurpass—could barely hide his dismay after his credit card application was declined.
We could only imagine how frustrated he was that he took to social media, posting on his Facebook page that Philippine National Bank rejected his application for a credit card which he applied for because he wanted access to Philippine Airlines’ business class lounge—a perk available to PNB Elite credit card holders.
Of course, he needs the PNB credit card to access PAL’s Mabuhay lounge because—even if his net worth is now in the 10-digit zone after Xurpass’ wildly successful initial public offering last year—the young CEO continues to fly on economy class on business trips.
“It’s ironic that so many people are approaching me for banking products now and the one product I applied for, I get denied,” he said.
Nolledo said PNB rejected his credit card application because he didn’t answer his mobile phone when the bank called to confirm his details.
“But I was out of the country,” he pointed out. Clearly, Nolledo is so cost conscious that he also wants to keep a tight lid on his mobile phone roaming charges, his high net worth notwithstanding. Daxim L. Lucas
A LONG-RUNNING plan to unify the country’s rival automated teller machine networks is now one step to becoming a reality, with the scheduled signing today of an agreement between BancNet and Megalink to unify their operations.
BancNet, of course, is the larger of the two ATM networks, and will be the surviving entity, taking Megalink members into the fold, including its largest members—BDO Unibank and Union Bank of the Philippines.
Naturally, it helped that BancNet counts among its members Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. which is headed by Lorenzo Tan (who is also the president of the Bankers Association of the Philippines) and that Megalink is chaired by BDO president Nestor Tan—the elder brother of Lorenzo.
In any case, the resulting corporate entity will be a hybrid of the two, taking the best traits of both organizations. The new mega ATM network will have a full time president to oversee operations (a BancNet trait) while its board of directors will be made up of CEOs of member banks (a Megalink attribute).
Megalink’s governance code and articles will also be used.
The long road to the merger—which took all of 14 months to complete, amid constant “encouragement” from the central bank’s top brass—is described best by RCBC’s Tan: “It was difficult to convince 30-plus chefs to cook the best burger.”
This early, the organization’s structure—dominated by powerful bank CEOs with big egos and fat wallets—is already primed for its first test: choosing a name for the merged entity. Let’s hope the cooks agree on the recipe. Daxim L. Lucas
‘Birth of the dream’
MELCO Crown’s big bosses—Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau gaming scion Lawrence Ho—are flying back to town in time for the grand opening of City of Dreams Manila on Monday.
After a soft opening last December, the country’s newest integrated resort City of Dreams (CoD) Manila is all-set for a big public debut before the Chinese Lunar New Year.
“Feb. 2 is an auspicious date for opening City of Dreams,” said Willy Ocier, vice chair of Belle Corp., when asked whether the timing for the big bash was based on a feng shui advice.
Belle owns the CoD property and half of the casino operations through its gaming investment arm Premium Leisure Corp. CoD Manila is a partnership with Packer and Ho’s Melco Crown, the same group behind the plush City of Dreams in Macau.
For the red carpet debut on Monday, one of the main highlights will be an outdoor concert top-billed by international Grammy award-winning artist Ne-Yo. This “Concert of Dreams” will also feature local artists like Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kyla and Jed Madela. Doris C. Dumlao
THE LOCAL energy industry is rife with talk of oil firms possibly turning to “stockpiling”—or put simply, the storing extra oil supplies—to counter the effects of sliding prices and strong competition seems right on the mark.
Platts, an influential oil market watcher, apparently sees such a pattern emerging.
“The storage game is picking up and beginning right now. We’re going to see that play out this year,” Benno Spencer, Platts’ senior managing editor for EMEA oil markets, said in an interview shown on the company web site.
Spencer said both floating (ship-based) and land-based storage had become very economical due to the low price of crude oil, especially for the likes of China, which had an enormous appetite for oil to fuel its economic growth.
“There’s been a fair bit of demand in China in the form of crude but not for domestic consumption—but for domestic, strategic and commercial stock building,” Spencer said, adding that this was also true for other nations around the world.
The game is on, then. Riza T. Olchondra
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