Biz Buzz: When lightning strikes | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: When lightning strikes

/ 12:14 AM August 12, 2016

After earlier approving a 10-day trading suspension on Philweb Corp., the Philippine Stock Exchange allowed the market to resume trading shares of the beleaguered gaming technology provider Thursday following the announcement by its controlling stockholder Roberto V. Ongpin a.k.a. RVO that he was putting his 53.76-percent stake on the block.

As such, shares of Philweb surged 49.88 percent to close at P6.37 each, giving it a market capitalization of P6.1 billion, although still a far cry from its P35-billion valuation before long-time Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was elected President.

“The regulatory action was based on a review and assessment of their disclosures and communications to PSE, given the public disclosures and media releases Thursday,” PSE chief operating officer Roel Refran explained.


One benefit of public listing is of course price discovery and if RVO intends to auction his stake by Aug. 17 (Wednesday next week), market valuation serves as a good guide to any potential buyer.


Facing stakeholders on Wednesday, Ongpin said he was “mystified” on why the new President singled him out as an oligarch who must be destroyed. He has never met the President or stepped on his toes or any of his associates, Ongpin said. He added that he was born poor and was educated in the public school system. Everything that he now owned, he had earned through hard work, Ongpin said. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Haggled down?

THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas made history last week when it slapped Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. with a record P1-billion penalty in the wake of last summer’s embarrassing money laundering scandal.

The penalty did much to boost the credibility of the bank regulator before stakeholders in the local financial market, many of whom were scratching their heads over the seemingly benign response of the BSP to the $81-million heist of Bangladeshi central bank funds.

But word on the street is that RCBC dodged an even bigger bullet, the P1-billion fine notwithstanding.

In fact, some bankers believe the monetary penalty that was finally levied on RCBC was a mere “slap on the wrist” compared to the original amounts initially being deliberated on.


Word on the street is that, given the gravity of the situation, the initial penalty being discussed was as high as… hold your breath… P5 billion. This is a far cry from the P30,000 per violation per day that the central bank imposes on errant banks under regular circumstances.

But penalties of this nature are subject to negotiation, and cooler heads prevailed, with the amount having been haggled down to P1 billion, payable in two equal P500-million tranches spread out over a year.

It is also worth noting that the Yuchengco family-controlled bank is not without old ties with the central bank’s Monetary Board, which decided to impose the penalty. In fact, Monetary Board member Valentin Araneta once served as president of RCBC years ago. Another Monetary Board member, Alfredo Antonio, also served as president and CEO of Great Pacific Life Assurance Corp. (Grepalife), which is the life insurance arm of the Yuchengco group.  Daxim L. Lucas

Dentist to the stars, redux

CELEBRITY patients? Check. Competent dentists, facilities and procedures? That’s the big question.

A popular dental center in Manila, which caters to celebrities, seems to have botched a dental job on one of its unlucky patients.

The horrific experience of “Patient X” is the stuff of nightmares. However, the dental center assured Patient X that his dental problems would be fixed in a few sessions. But after several months and countless procedures, Patient X’s dental problem became even worse. Some of his temporary crowns even fell off.

To add insult to injury, Patient X was charged several millions of pesos despite the bungled procedures. Worse, the dental center denied any wrongdoing for the failed procedures despite findings from other dentists—including experts from the US (yes, it has reached that level), that the dentist messed up the procedure.

More complaints about this popular dental center are coming out of the woodwork. After hearing Patient X’s story, the dental center is slowly becoming popular among its peers… for all the wrong reasons.

Patient X reportedly plans to file a complaint with regulators of the dental profession. We’re told that Patient X is also poised to sue the dental center for its botched procedures and would only be satisfied when justice is served—either to his teeth, or his wallet or with the dentist being penalized.  Daxim L. Lucas

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TAGS: Business, economy, Market, News, Philippine Stock Exchange, PhilWeb Corp., President Rodrigo Duterte, PSE, Roberto V. Ongpin, Trading

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