Doing a Murdoch | Inquirer Business
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Doing a Murdoch

/ 11:11 PM April 10, 2012

He may have missed the opportunity to take over flag carrier Philippine Airlines, but businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan isn’t losing sleep over it, said a source close to the First Pacific chief.

The source said MVP, despite having two teams in talks with Kapitan Lucio Tan (and himself meeting with the taipan last week), hasn’t really pursued PAL in the same vigor as he did Meralco, Digitel and SCTEX tollroad.

MVP also told associates that, henceforth, he would focus on railway, airports, infrastructure and mining space.


Moving forward, MVP may also be more active in the “media” space, with pricing said to be the only remaining hurdle to his bid to acquire Kapuso network, GMA Network Inc.


Industry sources said the triumvirate controlling GMA 7—the Duavit, Gozon and Jimenez families—may be willing to cede control of the broadcasting firm to MVP at a price tag of P50 billion to P60 billion.

This “asking price” is within the P45 billion to P51 billion price range that MVP is said to be willing to pay.


MVP has said that expansion in various media platforms is a model successfully done elsewhere in the world. In other words, he would like to replicate in Asia what media mogul Rupert Murdoch has done in other parts of the globe.

Apart from TV5, MVP’s group, through Mediaquest, has minority interests in print media Businessworld, Philippine Star and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

According to the source close to MVP, the business magnate isn’t just focusing on local shores for his media foray.

“We are looking at an offer of a Vietnamese TV station. The plan is to expand regionally,” the source said.

After investing mostly in the Philippines and Indonesia, MVP may soon gain a foothold in a third Southeast Asian market.  Doris C. Dumlao

Tall tales?

Remember the tragic incident at the BF Homes residence of Banco Filipino owner Bobby Aguirre last weekend where three of his bodyguards were killed by still unknown assailants?

Well, word on the street is that some allies of the shuttered bank are about to link the killings to—you guessed it—the closure of the troubled thrift bank by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

According to Biz Buzz sources, the angle being pushed by the Banco Filipino camp is that the brazen hit on Aguirre’s bodyguards was ordered by no less than the bank regulators at the BSP.

The motive, ostensibly, is to send a message to people sympathetic to Banco Filipino’s plight to be … well … less sympathetic.

(To recall, there is an ongoing legal battle between the BSP and Banco Filipino over the bank’s closure, with the latter claiming that the former owes it damages to the tune of P25 billion—bigger than the central bank’s current capitalization.)

Of course, few in the banking and business communities are inclined to believe the line that the technocrats and bean counters at the central bank are the types to put out ‘contracts’ on their enemies, but hey … at least we have something to keep the rumor mill turning, right?  Daxim L. Lucas

Sloppy work

When it comes to making economic roadmaps or policy documents, few can beat the technocrats of the Philippine government.

These people are often called on to produce voluminous reports detailing how best to move the country forward economically, especially whenever a new administration takes office.

But apparently, there are exceptions.

Recently, the Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) complained to Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority Director General Cayetano Paderanga Jr. about the agency’s poorly crafted Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan—the economic blueprint that the Aquino administration will implement for Region 8.

The concern of the CCI was relayed by the group’s president, Robert Castañares, to Paderanga in a letter.

Castañares complained that an initial review of the blueprint revealed “it was poorly crafted which, even by corporate standards, could hardly be considered a sound Regional Development Plan.”

Specifically, CCI pointed out that it was “extremely alarmed” by the dismal economic performance of Eastern Visayas from 2004 to 2009.

What was disconcerting for the business group was the conclusion of the blueprint that the region’s economy improved and that the services sector managed a positive growth from 2004 to 2009, when in fact, Region 8 sorely missed all its targets in the agriculture and services sectors.

Indeed, the group pointed out that the regional economy had declined from 5.2 percent in 2004 to 1.8 percent in 2009, and the poverty rate increased from 37.6 percent in 2003 to 41.4 percent in 2009.

“There was no detailed assessment or clear explanation as to why we performed badly in 2004-2009,” CCI complained, adding that the motherhood statements contained in the document would be useless in business planning (and that the document was probably the result of ‘cut and paste’ work from previous economic blueprints).

This is the second time Southern Leyte businessmen have asked Neda for action on the issue. So far, no one’s been listening to them.

Is it because the region is indeed economically backward and less important? Daxim L. Lucas

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TAGS: Banco Filipino, BF Homes, GMA 7, GMA network, Lucio Tan, Manuel V. Pangilinan, MVP, National Economic and Development Authority, NEDA, Philippine Airlines

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