Biz Buzz: Bidding war for SCTEx?

Biz Buzz: Bidding war for SCTEx?

/ 02:22 AM May 17, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to raise more revenues as fast as possible, Finance Secretary Ralph Recto has floated the idea of selling government shares in Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) to state-run pension funds.

The finance chief made the proposal days after the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said it was willing to sell to the Metro Pacific group its 50-percent stake in the country’s longest highway for more than P20 billion—an amount that will enable the state-run firm to extinguish debts while registering a windfall.

READ: Gov’t ready to sell 50% SCTEx stake to MPTC for at least P20B


Recto did not give an estimate on possible revenues to be raised from the prospective sale to the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), only assuring that the amount would be “fairly significant.”


Asked why the government is seeing the GSIS and SSS as potential buyers, Finance Undersecretary Catherine Fong said a government-to-government transaction would be much faster than selling the asset to a private entity.

Will the government sell the shares to tycoon Manuel Pangilinan, whose group already develops and operates toll roads, or to the pension funds? It sounds like a potential bidding war. Abangan!
—Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral

SMC buys Bulacan water utility firms

Wanting to focus on other business ventures, tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.-led Manila Water Co. Inc. is selling its stake in two water utility firms in Bulacan to the San Miguel Group for P1.02 billion.

Manila Water disclosed on Thursday that its unit Filipinas Water Holdings Corp. is divesting its 90-percent interest in Bulakan Water Co. Inc. (BWCI) and a 90-percent stake in Obando Water Co. Inc. (OWCI) to SMC Bulacan Water Services Corp.

READ: SMC to provide affordable drinking water to more households in Bulacan

Proceeds from the deal will “fund other strategic initiatives.”


SMC, for its part, is raising its stake in Bulacan, where it is building a brand-new airport.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other third-party consents.

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BWCI delivers water and sanitation services in Bulakan town while OWCI serves Obando town. —Jordeene B. Lagare

TAGS: Biz Buzz, SCTEx

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