BIZ BUZZ: Medalla to join SMC board
It’s no secret that governors of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are valuable resources in the corporate world once they depart the hallowed halls of the country’s monetary authority.
These rare and talented officials are prized for the knowledge and wisdom that they can share with company owners and CEOs about the country’s economy, their reading on the direction of borrowing rates and, naturally, their ability to find solutions to whatever challenge their potential private sector employer will face.
Their services are most in demand among the country’s large conglomerates whose fortunes help determine the health of the country’s economy and the lives of thousands of people on their employ.
Thus, it is no surprise that the Philippines’ newest former central bank governor—Felipe Medalla—has now found himself agreeing to join not just any conglomerate, but the country’s largest one.
That’s right. Biz Buzz learned that the well-respected economist has agreed to serve on the board of directors of the P1.5-trillion-a-year-in-sales San Miguel Corp. (SMC) at the invitation of its president and CEO Ramon Ang.
This was confirmed to Biz Buzz by both Ang and Medalla.
Now the conglomerate’s next board elections won’t happen immediately, so pending that event—probably by its next stockholders’ meeting—Medalla will serve as San Miguel’s consultant for now.
And, in case our readers are wondering, Medalla is not covered by the two-year ban that normally prevents former central bank governors from sitting on the boards of banks and financial institutions. That’s simply because San Miguel is not a BSP-supervised financial institution (although it has an affiliate that’s BSP-supervised, namely the Bank of Commerce … but Medalla won’t be involved with that for now).
On the San Miguel board, expect Medalla to add weight to the economic voice of former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves who, at this point, is the only economist in the group that’s full of legal heavyweights.
The question now is which current director will the former BSP chief replace? Abangan!
—Daxim L. Lucas
Ocier raking it in
He’s not as visible in the business community nowadays, but businessman Willy Ocier has been keeping himself busy making sure Premium Leisure Corp.—which he chairs—is performing above the expectations of all its stakeholders.
The gaming investment firm recently announced what it described as “exceptional results” for its third-quarter net profits, reflecting a favorable picture of its operations and profitability during this period.
Premium Leisure’s share of gaming revenues from its subsidiary, Premium Leisure and Amusement Inc. (PLAI), was one reason why its earnings were good. PLAI recorded a 24-percent gross profits increase to P1.8 billion during the third quarter compared to only P1.45 billion in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Pacific Online Systems Corp., another Premium Leisure subsidiary, reported a 40-percent year-on-year increase in gross earnings amounting to P502.43 million from P358.11 million last year.
On Aug. 30, Pacific Online announced that it will be venturing into online gaming particularly a Web-Based Application Betting Platform with its lottery partner, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Now that is something to look forward to. If plans proceed smoothly, that will provide Ocier’s firm with a substantial earnings boost. INQ