BIG BUZZ: New broker, big backers
A new stockbrokerage house appears to be planting new seeds of growth during the current market drought.
We’re talking about Seedbox Securities Inc., which is backed by local industry veterans and Japan’s SBI Holdings, a $5.7-billion financial services company that is listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The Philippine Stock Exchange board approved Seedbox Securities’ application to become a trading participant of the bourse. The board also approved the appointment of Yujin Otsuka, SBI Holdings chief representative in the Philippines, as nominee.
The Seedbox Group is a relatively new name in the local financial sector but its investors are well known. Seedbox Philippines, the first fully digital investment products marketplace, is backed by the likes of Atram Group and Rampver Financials. The group appears on expansion mode after raising $6 million last year during a fundraising round led by SBI and Philippine Equity Partners.
—Miguel R. Camus
Comglasco’s big barangay woes
What’s a businessman to do when barangay officials get in the way of legitimate business concerns and prevent him from making full use of his assets, thereby costing him millions of pesos?
That’s the problem the owner of Comglasco Aguila Glass Corp. is facing nowadays after leasing three properties in Santa Maria, Bulacan, at the start of the pandemic … and allegedly being prevented from maximizing their utility by local barangay officials.
Biz Buzz learned that Comglasco had two years within which to landfill and utilize the leased property free of charge, as stated in their contract.
The company attempted several times to commence landfilling work on the landfilling, but Comglasco’s workers were prevented to proceed by the barangay captain for no apparent reason.
This prompted Comglasco’s owner, Florante Aguila, to approach the national government—specifically the Department of the Interior and Local Government—for redress as to the stoppage of landfilling operations, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, the properties’ lessors (who are apparently tight with the barangay authorities) have done little to help Comglasco with its problems
And while all this was happening, Mr. Aguila had faithfully been paying his monthly lease fees to the properties’ owner, even while the barangay official was preventing him from getting the most out of his investment.
We hear the monthly rentals have so far cost Comglasco upward of P28 million. Ouch.
Because Comglasco was prevented from making a landfill and from utilizing the property, the company sought to terminate the lease contract and suspend the rental payment and demanded refund of advance rentals, security deposit and monthly rentals paid.
Incidentally, Biz Buzz heard that when one particular barangay official learned that Comglasco’s owner was close to the current powers-that-be, the businessman immediately received “quotations” indicating the prices of the work that would be needed for the project to move forward. Everything looks set for an ugly court battle between the parties, unless someone comes to their senses. Maybe the barangay officials will wake up and decide to stop obstructing the project? Abangan!
— Daxim L. Lucas
Rockwell’s new Cebu project
Given how central the location is in Cebu City, it was inevitable for curious neighbors to see what was going on at the former site of International Pharmaceuticals Inc (IPI).
From a former office owned by the Wong and Castillo families to a demolished construction site, suddenly something eye-catching was being formed.
What was it exactly?
A printed floor plan that is true to the size of the Lincoln Tower at IPI Center that will soon stand on the now empty site.This is part of the new community that property developer Rockwell Land recently launched.
Architect Lei Ramos posted videos of the work in progress last Oct. 21 and it already got 3.4 million views and over 20,000 likes on TikTok. A followup video even had netizens anticipating more updates.
Rockwell is the first real estate developer to create a physical life-sized blueprint for a project, complete with a mock-up of actual views on each side of its residential tower.
Office-goers and residents of its neighboring towers witnessed its completion, from the floor plan itself being pieced together, to actual furniture being added to the space.
If the drawings are already getting buzz, then it should get even more once they become reality.