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3 ‘under a billion’ PH firms make Forbes list

/ 07:29 AM June 26, 2015

Three Philippine corporations—one engaged in chemical manufacturing and two in the mining business—landed on Forbes Magazine’s “Best Under A Billion (BUB)” list, which honors 200 leading public companies in the Asia Pacific region.

D&L Industries, Nickel Asia and Oriental Peninsula Resources Group (ORE) made it to the 2015 BUB roster, which is once again dominated by companies from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


In a press statement on Thursday, Forbes Asia said the BUB comprised leading companies in the region with annual revenues of between $5 million and $1 billion, with a positive net income and which have been publicly traded for at least a year.

From a field of 17,000 companies, the magazine said candidates were screened on sales growth and earnings growth in the past 12 months and over the past three years, and for the strongest five-year return on equity.


“The secret to making the BUB is consistent growth in the measured performance metrics. One off year and you’re out. Companies in sustained strong-growth economies, or in Taiwan’s case, exporting to them, have a decided advantage. It is also important to have a good, liquid channel for public stock offerings,” said Forbes Asia editor Tim Ferguson.

Increasing following

D&L, which is led by the Lao family, is a leading manufacturer of food ingredients and a specialty plastic additive. It has an increasing stock market following as a consumer proxy play. The company, which earlier gobbled up its affiliate Chemrez Technologies, has a market capitalization of $1.55 billion. D&L, which trades on the stock market under the ticker DNL, has $363 million in annual sales revenues and $61 million in net profit.

Nickel Asia Corp., with a market capitalization of $2.08 billion, is a mining firm led by the Zamora family. It is the Philippines’ largest producer of lateritic nickel ore and one of the largest in the world. Starting from the sale of ore in 1977 from its first mine in Palawan, Rio Tuba, it has sinceexpanded to four operating mines. Trading under the ticker “NIKL,” the company has an annual net profit of $193 million, out of $547 million in sales revenues.

ORE is focused on the mining operations of its sole subsidiary Citinickel Mines and Development Corp. , which is the sole claim owner of the Pulot Mine and the Toronto Mine in the municipalities of Sofronio Española and Narra in Palawan. ORE, led by the Tanchay family, has $78 million in sales revenues and $37 million in net profit. It is valued by the market at $139 million.

Companies from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan accounted for 60 percent of the top 200 publicly traded companies in the Asia-Pacific region in the BUB list. The full list can be found at and in the latest issue of Forbes Asia.



Dynamic sector

Of the companies in the latest roster, 123 are new to the list, which Forbes Asia said underscored the dynamism of the region’s small and medium-sized sector.

Pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies from China featured strongly on the list, as was the case last year, the magazine said. The list included Da An Gene, which sells biomedicine, gene diagnostic products and conducts research on MERS virus testing kits, and By-health, China’s largest retailer of dietary supplements. Another China listee Shanghai RAAS Blood Products, which runs blood banks and offers blood products, commands a market value of $14.2 billion on sales of $214 million.

Other China and Hong Kong companies span a wide range of industries, including printing, software, financial trusts, real estate, apparel, toys, movies and semiconductors.

The second largest group of companies on the list comes from Taiwan. This year, five more made it to the list, bringing the total number from Taiwan to 36. They include two companies with market value in excess of $3 billion—Hermes Microvision, and Eclat Textile.

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TAGS: “Best Under A Billion (BUB)”, D&L Industries, Forbes, Forbes Asia, Forbes Magazine, mining business, Nickel Asia, Oriental Peninsula Resources Group, Philippine corporations
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