Biz Buzz: Deal or no deal | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Deal or no deal

/ 12:29 AM November 30, 2015

THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) failed to close a deal to raise its interest in the Philippine Dealing System (PDS) Group by Friday’s deadline due to lack of clearance from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). So what happens now?

“We just a received a letter from the SEC clarifying items,” PSE president Hans Sicat said Friday night. “We’re reviewing the letter and will evaluate steps in the coming days.”

Whether or not it was willing to give the PSE exemptive relief from the 20-percent single-industry limit on bourse ownership, it wasn’t possible for the SEC to have given such a last-minute clearance last Friday. SEC chair Teresita Herbosa was out of the country (and only three Commissioners were reportedly in town) and there could be legal questions on whether the SEC’s highest policymaking body could validly approve any exemption by referendum or other than a face-to-face en banc meeting.


There were arguments that the SEC could have addressed this without waiting for the last minute while corporate regulators, for their part, have repeatedly indicated they would like to have all kinks ironed out and that they would not be cowed into rushing to give its clearance.


The PSE obviously has two options on the matter: Seek more time to close the deal and wait for the SEC to resolve the matter or walk away from the project to unify capital market infrastructure and just pursue organic growth.

Nothing is cast in stone but the sense that we’re getting is the growing frustration among the private sector proponents could lead to the abortion of the transaction. As opposed to deals involving only two parties, which can easily agree to stretch out closing deadlines, the PSE-PDS deal is more complex because there are many parties involved. Apart from the Bankers Association of the Philippines which controls 28.91 percent, other key shareholders are Singapore Exchange Ltd. (20 percent), Tata Consulting (8 percent), Computershare Technology (8 percent), San Miguel Corp. (4 percent), Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co. (4 percent), Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (1.54 percent), Investment Houses Association of the Philippines (1.12 percent) and Social Security System (1.54 percent).

We’ll await the PSE’s next step in the next few days. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Knighted, kinda

PETER FAVILA is going to be knighted… in a manner of speaking.

Yes, the former secretary of trade and industry will be conferred a kind of knighthood, but not by the Queen of England or any of the usual European monarchs. Instead, Favila—whose last government stint ended last year after his term on the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas—will be conferred “The Order of the Rising Sun,” which is awarded in the name of the Emperor of Japan, His Imperial Majesty Akihito.


The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji and is the third-highest award given by the Japanese government after the Order of the Chrysanthemum (for royalty and heads of state) and the Order of the Paulownia Flowers (for politicians).

In Favila’s case, his particular award comes with the “gold and silver star,” which is the second highest class of the order. The only other Filipino awardee in this level is Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Lilia de Lima, who received the order in 2006 (and yes, she’s a big favorite of Japanese businessmen in the Philippines, thanks to her ability to keep the country’s many special economic zones running smoothly and efficiently).

In general, the order is given by the Japanese government to recipients who have made significant contributions in international relations, preservation of the environment and promotion of Japanese culture.

Biz Buzz learned that Favila will be receiving the award thanks mainly to his work in “strengthening the economic relations between Japan and the Philippines,” which is basically a roundabout way of saying he helped foster better trade between both nations.

In particular, Favila was instrumental in the ratification of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa), which is the closest thing to a free-trade deal both countries have right now. Of course, the Japanese government is happy because Jpepa means Japanese automobile manufacturers can sell more cars to the Philippines, and Filipino consumers are happy because they can buy Toyotas, Nissans, Mitsubishis and Hondas, among others, at more affordable prices under the trade deal.

So while some Filipino businessmen have knighthoods from Queen Elizabeth II (we’re talking about former Pilipinas Shell chief Cesar Buenaventura and former Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo, both recipients of the Order of the British Empire), it probably won’t be proper to address Favila as “Sir Peter.”

So “Shogun Favila” perhaps? Daxim L. Lucas

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bankers Association of the Philippines, BSP, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Hans Sicat, Lilia de Lima, monetary board, PDS, Peter Favila, Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co., Philippine Dealing System, Philippine Stock Exchange, PSE, San Miguel Corp., SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission, Singapore Exchange Ltd., Social Security System, Teresita Herbosa

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