BIZ BUZZ: Cannibalizing the exhibition market?

BIZ BUZZ: Cannibalizing the exhibition market?

/ 02:22 AM May 03, 2024

First lady Liza Araneta Marcos’ pet project, a brand-new P18-billion international exhibition center to be built at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex, is feared to eat up into the market of another similar facility—one that is partly owned by the state and only roughly 2 kilometers away from the proposed venue. It thus raises questions on whether investing in a new one within the same neighborhood is a prudent move for the Marcos administration.

A source privy to the matter told Biz Buzz that the establishment of the Philippine International Exhibition Center (PIEC), which is proposed to be funded by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, may compromise future expansion plans for the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM).

WTCMM is owned by the Manila Exposition Complex Inc. (MEC), where the National Development Co. (NDC), the investment arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, has a 36-percent share.


“It will definitely halt WTCMM expansion plans. The SMX will also potentially be affected, but that is a private entity,” the anonymous source said.


Aside from the NDC, the same source noted that Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. is also a key shareholder of MEC, with an ownership of around 18 percent.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on April 8 signed Executive Order No. 59 greenlighting the construction of the PIEC in preparation for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in 2026. —Alden M. Monzon

PLDT on expansion mode

PLDT Inc. has completed the P2.12-billion stake acquisition in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) unit Radius—which is seen to beef up the telco giant’s footprint in the highly competitive industry.

This purchase represents 34.9-percent ownership in Radius, which has congressional franchise to construct, install, establish and operate telco services. Its fiber facilities span 150 enterprise buildings and more than 200 residential villages.

The portfolio of the Meralco unit is seen to complement the operation of PLDT, which has covered 17.31 million homes and laid out 1.1 million kilometers of fiber cable.

This year, PLDT is spending P75 billion to P78 billion for the upgrade of cell sites, deployment of home broadband ports, data center and submarine cable investment. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad


Big wins for BPI Wealth

The wealth management unit of Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is not just teeming with assets entrusted by rich clients.

The International Finance Awards recognized the country’s third-largest private bank as the best asset manager in the Philippines for the eighth consecutive year.

BPI Wealth reported that assets under management last year breached the P1-trillion mark as its various client segments—institutional, high net worth, mass affluent and retail—grew.

“This award serves as a reminder that we’re on the right track. It fuels us to keep pushing boundaries, continually innovate and raise the bar in wealth management,” BPI Wealth president and CEO Maria Theresa Marcial said.

Meanwhile, BPI Wealth was likewise named the Best Wealth Manager for Digital CX (customer experience) in the country, and Best Digital CX in Account Opening and Customer Onboarding for Wealth Management. The awards were given during the Digital Banker Digital CX Awards 2024.

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Adding to its list of awards is the Best Managed Fund of The Year given by the CFA Society to three of BPI Wealth’s managed unit investment trust funds. —MEG J. ADONIS

TAGS: Biz Buzz

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