Biz Buzz: Tatang’s portfolio | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Tatang’s portfolio

/ 01:40 AM December 28, 2011

The country’s wealthiest man, Henry Sy Sr.—patriarch of the family that controls the SM group—recently “divested” nearly P12 billion worth of shares in holding firm SM Investments Corp. Based on an SMIC disclosure last week, Sy unloaded a total of 21.62 million shares from Dec. 16 to 20 at prices ranging from P526 to P550.

Is “Tatang” raising fresh funds for a major investment? Not really, as the shares haven’t gone outside the group. Some market participants assumed the transfer of this big chunk of shares could be part of the octogenarian tycoon’s estate planning to pass on the baton to the next generation.

A spokesperson of the SM group said the shares did remain within the group. “This is part of the regular restructuring of his stockholding,” the spokesperson said. “There’s no new party.”


After these transactions, about 8.03 percent of SMIC shares remain directly under Sy’s name.—Doris C. Dumlao


Flying in a borrowed plane

What should a taipan do when he wants to fly to Cagayan de Oro City to help deliver relief goods and he finds that his private jet is undergoing its annual maintenance? Why, borrow from another taipan, of course.

According to our source, tycoon Lucio Tan recently flew to CDO, not in his eye-catching Gulfstream G150 (one of the fastest business jets in the market), but in another, spanking new—and bigger and faster—Gulfstream. This one flew at a top speed of Mach 0.9, so the taipan and his staff were in CDO in no time.

While there, the LT group, led by its philanthropic arm the Tan Yan Kee Foundation and sister companies Asia Brewery, Agua Vida, Tanduay, PMFTC and other partner organizations, distributed food, water, medicine, blankets and body bags in various areas hit by Sendong’s floodwaters.

Items donated consisted of relief goods for 10,000 families, 350,000 bottles of Absolute and Summit water, clothes and slippers. Two mobile water stations from Agua Vida, meanwhile, were set to arrive in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City last weekend. Loaded on trucks and equipped with their own generator sets, the two water stations are capable of producing 16,000 liters of clean potable water a day.

Through Tan Yan Kee Foundation, the Fo Guang Shan monastery in Taipei donated 1,000 body bags and 5,000 blankets, which were airlifted by PAL from Taiwan at no cost. Also in cooperation with Tan Yan Kee, the American Chamber of Commerce will send abaca beddings (known locally as the “banig”) and mosquito nets, along with 2,000 packages of relief goods composed of noodles, rice and water.


And from whom did Kapitan borrow the Gulfstream? Let’s just say the mystery friend also flies a Bombardier private jet.—Daxim L. Lucas


If you see a lot of Filipino expat bankers back in town these days, they aren’t here for the holidays. Because the lingering uncertainties in Europe and the US have put many offshore financial executives in precarious situation, many are now considering domestic employment opportunities. As many European financial institutions are selling their assets to meet capital build-up requirements for 2012, this “de-leveraging” will inevitably result in the retrenchment of workers.

Fortunately for Pinoy financial executives who may lose their jobs in erstwhile greener pastures, many local institutions are more than happy to take them in their plantillas.

For instance, Bank of the Philippine Islands president Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III is now busy interviewing Filipino expats of all ages from Wall Street, Hong Kong and other financial centers seeking employment in the local bank. It’s estimated that over 40 BPI executives with the rank of VP or higher are up for retirement, and the bank is looking for people to replace them.

It’s good to be in the right part of the globe at this time.—Doris C. Dumlao

Family feud

Members of a prominent Metro Manila political family are currently at odds on whether to allow a major commercial property development to be undertaken in their city.

According to our sources, Camp No. 1 is opposing the establishment, which may or may not include a new hotel, casino and mall, for fear that it may compete with this camp’s own business interests in the area. For everyone’s information, this camp is involved in several industries such as real estate, retail and, although they may deny this, road construction.

Publicly, this camp is citing supposed environmental factors in blocking the new commercial development, which may involve the reclamation of a substantial parcel of land near Manila Bay. In fact, the leader of this particular camp has spoken publicly against the project, warning that this may increase flooding in the city.

Unfortunately for him, the biggest supporters of the planned project are part of his own family. One can even argue that members of Camp No. 2 come from the more prestigious part of the family tree, while the head of the first camp was only “married into the clan.”

Camp No. 2 is supporting the new commercial establishment, saying this will increase the mostly residential city’s income exponentially. Of course, it probably helps, too, that this planned commercial establishment is backed by one of the country’s most prominent businessmen.

If you have to ask which prominent Metro Manila family this is, then you will never know.—Paolo Montecillo

Revisiting Belle Grande

The market was recently spooked by talks that the partnership terms between Belle Corp. and Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LR) on the upcoming Belle Grande Manila Bay casino project may be overhauled. On Tuesday, LR shares dropped by 2.43 percent to P9.25 a share. There was likewise concern that LR could shell out more for the project considering Pagcor’s requirement for the group to put up 800 hotel rooms first before opening the casino.

Upon checking this with Belle, the contract is indeed being fine-tuned although it doesn’t sound too bad. “Their contract is being extended from 10 years to 25 years,” Belle vice chair Willy Ocier told Biz Buzz. He assured people that there wouldn’t be any other changes in the terms, such as in profit sharing. Under the terms, LR will get 15 percent of net casino winnings, or 50 percent of the gaming cash flow (as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, taxation and amortization), whichever is higher.

We also asked Ocier why shares of APC Group have been trading briskly in the past few days. He said this must be because of APC’s focus for 2012—geothermal, mining and cement businesses. These are among today’s “hottest” industries, with everyone wanting to have a piece of the action.—Doris C. Dumlao

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TAGS: acquisition, Airline, banks, divestment, Henry Sy Sr., jobs, Real Estate

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