BIZ BUZZ: Hot clubs
Just like upscale residences, golf and country club shares have proven to be buoyant assets during this pandemic. Overall, these leisure clubs have served as an exclusive sanctuary for affluent folks especially during the prolonged lockdowns.
In fact, the much-improved toll road infrastructure, whether heading to north or south Luzon, has resulted in the strong share price performance of clubs outside the metropolis.
Based on data from Leechiu Property Consultants, club shares in Manila Southwoods surged by 58 percent to about P1.9 million per share this December from 2020 level. Tagaytay Midlands and Mt. Malarayat Golf & Country Club both recorded a 43-percent increase in share prices to P1 million and P500,000, respectively, in the last 12 months.
Shares of Tagaytay Highlands rose by 25 percent to P1 million during the same period.
Going to north Luzon, the value of Anvaya Cove Golf & Country Club shares has gone up by 25 percent to P1.25 million, while Baguio Country Club shares are now priced at about P4 million, up by 21 percent this year.
Closer to the metropolis, Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo is now valued at P1.5 million per share, up by 36 percent in the past year.
Within the metropolis, shares of Manila Golf (P83 million), Wack-Wack Country Club (P45 million) and Alabang Country Club (P7 million) have appreciated by 11 percent, 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Curiously, valuation of Manila Polo Club declined by 14 percent to P24 million per share during the same period. Likewise bucking the uptrend was Cebu Country Club, whose share price dipped by 5 percent to P10.5 million per share.
One final push
It is tempting to think of the Duterte administration as one that is on the wane, especially with national elections coming up in a few months and a new president to be sworn into office soon after that.
But the country’s current economic managers are still hoping to push one final reform measure through Congress before legislators see their interest for lawmaking replaced by their desire to be reelected.
Biz Buzz learned that the administration’s economic team is now preparing for a major effort to liberalize the tariff regime for livestock and corn, in the same way it was done for rice and pork not too long ago.
In particular, this reform measure—if passed by lawmakers—will result in a uniform and lower tariff rate for imported livestock (especially the big three: beef, pork and chicken) as well as corn which is a critical feed component.
The rationale? “Filipinos pay more than two times for pork compared to Thais, and 73 percent more compared to the Vietnamese,” said a recent presentation prepared by Monetary Board member V. Bruce Tolentino (one of the key economists lending his expertise to the reform measure) seen by Biz Buzz.
The same presentation—which was sent to key lawmakers—showed that Filipino consumers were also paying more than twice for chicken meat than the Thais and 44 percent more than the Vietnamese.
And in 2019, wholesale corn prices in the Philippines were 73 percent higher than in Thailand.
The reform measure being eyed by the administration calls for more imports of livestock and corn to lower local consumer prices. Meanwhile, the tariff revenues from these imports would be earmarked for programs to enhance the productivity of corn, livestock and dairy farmers.
If enacted into law, the impact on consumer prices and children’s nutrition is expected to be positive and significant. But local producers who have not had to contend with serious competition for many years will almost certainly protest this measure.
Will the reformists get their way? Or will the status quo prevail? Abangan!
—Daxim L. Lucas
The country’s leading cement-maker Holcim Philippines has struck a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the rank-and-file union Holcim Philippines Employees Association (HPEA), which has 112 members in its plant in Norzagaray, Bulacan, its largest production hub. This CBA is effective until 2026 with the economic provisions in the third and fourth year of the deal open to renegotiation by 2024.
“Bulacan made tremendous operational and sustainability improvements this year due to the hard work and dedication of its people including members of HPEA. With this CBA’s closing, we can refocus on further transforming our Bulacan plant into one of the best sites in the Holcim group and the country,” said Holcim president and CEO Horia Adrian, while expressing gratitude to the union.
“We are thankful to the management for the open and continuous communication to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement. We at HPEA are excited to drive performance of the Bulacan plant and help grow the company,” said HPEA president Richard Cruz.
It’s a different story for Holcim’s manufacturing site in southern Philippines. The plant in Lugait, Misamis Oriental, is facing a labor strike following a CBA deadlock.
About 90 members of Holcim Philippines Workers Union-Federation of Democratic Labor Organization, the associate union of its plant in Lugait, had voted to go on strike earlier this week.
This accounts for half of the workforce at this production site.
To date, Holcim is still exerting efforts to resolve this issue in coordination with the labor authorities. “Should the strike happen, we assure the public our sustained plant operations and continued service to our customers in North Mindanao,” the company said.
Aside from the facility in Misamis and Bulacan, Holcim has production sites in La Union, Batangas and Davao, alongside its aggregates and dry mix business and technical support facilities for building solutions.
Nationwide, the group employs more than 1,600 people. Its manufacturing plants have an annual capacity of more than 6 million metric tons of clinker and 7.7 million tons of cement.
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