BIZ BUZZ: DoubleDragon’s ‘otso otso’ pays off

BIZ BUZZ: DoubleDragon’s ‘otso otso’ pays off

/ 02:10 AM July 09, 2024

It looks like eight is indeed a lucky number, especially when doubled.

Real estate firm DoubleDragon Corp. said on Monday that it has “fully sold out” its P10-billion bond issuance days before the end of the offer period on July 10. And because the offering was “more than fully subscribed” on July 5, DoubleDragon, the underwriters, managers and bookrunners decided to cut the offering short.

It simply means that other interested investors will no longer be able to buy bonds. Sad news for those who dilly-dallied.

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“We seek the understanding of the investing public for cutting short the [DoubleDragon] retail bond offer period due to oversubscription way ahead,” DoubleDragon said in a stock exchange filing.

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Of course, company chair Edgar “Injap” Sia II somehow already predicted this turnout, especially when the retail bonds were priced at 8.008 percent.

READ: BIZ BUZZ: Otso otso still in fashion for DD

Sia had said that doubling the lucky no. 8 was “even more auspicious”—and he was right.

This is a good confidence booster for DoubleDragon, whose last peso retail bond issuance was more than five years ago.

The good news though is that the company is hinting at another tranche of the retail bond offering that will be “facilitated very soon.”

Will the luck from the double 8s spill over then? Abangan! —MEG J. ADONIS

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Ocampo named new First Metro president

‘Tis (still) the season of retirements and resignations.

This time, the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group has welcomed a new president.

First Metro Investment Corp. on Monday announced that veteran investment banker Antonio Ocampo Jr. officially stood at the helm on July 1.

He succeeded Jose Patricio Dumlao, who retired from First Metro after four years.

Ocampo, who is said to have over 30 years of experience in corporate and investment banking, was already a Metrobank Group employee even before he joined First Metro, heading the corporate banking group.

He also led global network banking under the corporate and investment bank group of Deutsche Bank AG.

“We are delighted to welcome Anthony Ocampo at First Metro,” First Metro chair Mary Mylene Caparas said in a statement.

“With Anthony’s extensive experience in investment and corporate banking and deep understanding of relationship management, we are confident that he can steer the company to achieve sustained growth and develop robust relationships with our clients,” she added. —MEG J. ADONIS

Meralco-Batelec conflict no more?

Batangas residents used to pit their local electric cooperative against Manila Electric Corp. (Meralco) due to frequent power outages. Now, a joint venture between them is brewing.

The proposed partnership of Meralco and BATELEC (Batangas Electric Cooperative, Inc.) I and BATELEC II won the “strong support” of Batangas members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

Several Batangas mayors have approved a resolution in favor of the Meralco-Batelec joint venture, hoping the eventual alliance will address the power woes in the province.

READ: Meralco denies being monopolistic, keeping capital cost high

An executive from Meralco welcomed this development, expressing confidence that the entry of the utility into Batangas would result in “reliable and affordable electricity.”

“We are grateful for LMP-Batangas backing this initiative because an improved power service isn’t just beneficial to the daily grind but when you look at the bigger picture, it also impacts the local economy,” Meralco senior vice president and chief external and government affairs officer Arnel Casanova said in a statement Thursday.

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Casanova also said Meralco would like to team up with other electric cooperatives as he touted the group’s distribution lines located in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Quezon. — Lisbet K. Esmael

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