Manila Water hikes capital amid talks of new investor coming in | Inquirer Business
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Manila Water hikes capital amid talks of new investor coming in

/ 05:10 AM February 01, 2020

Manila Water Co. Inc. said its board approved in a special meeting on Friday an increase in the company’ authorized capital stock by about 26 percent to P4.4 billion from P3.5 billion, which will consist of 900 million additional common shares.

The concessionaire of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System said in a disclosure the move was subject to stockholders’ approval and would be on the table at their annual meeting this coming April.

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The Ayala subsidiary’s board also approved the trebling of Manila Water’s carved-out shares to 900 million unissued common shares from 300 million as well as the issuance of such “‘for cash, properties, or assets to carry out’ the corporate purposes of the company.”

This was disclosed after Manila Water sought voluntary suspension of trading Friday morning until 10 a.m. next trading day, Feb.3.

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The suspension of trading in Manila Water shares happened amid speculations that the company’s majority owners were buckling under pressure from Malacañang by selling out their business.

President Duterte has repeatedly attacked the Zobels verbally, alluding to the business leaders as among “rich people in the Philippines who are crazy” and whom “we should kill.”

When sought for more details of these latest developments from their board, Manila Water officials could not be reached.

Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance, said Friday’s announcements pointed to the possibility that a new investor might be coming in or that Manila Water might be preparing to set up a new business or subsidiary.

“The best thing is that they are moving on and are thinking out of the box,” Del Castillo said. “They have not lost heart and are staying in business.”

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