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Biz Buzz: One wild card down

/ 12:47 AM April 25, 2012

The board of Fund Managers Association of the Philippines met last week to review the association’s bid for a seat in the Philippine Stock Exchange, which will hold its annual stockholders’ meeting and board elections on May 5.

Industry sources said the decision was to field a lone candidate to boost its chances and thus, Paul Joseph Garcia of Bank of the Philippine Islands decided to give way to equally esteemed peer Marvin Fausto of Banco de Oro Unibank.

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Garcia’s withdrawal further narrowed to two the “challengers” to the 15 incumbent candidates, all of whom are running for re-election. Aside from Fausto, the other “outsider” is Robert Atendido of the Investment House Association of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the trading floors were abuzz Tuesday with talk about incumbent PSE director and businessman Francis Chua who was supposedly forced off a Cathay Pacific flight for his vehement refusal to put on his seatbelt.—Doris C. Dumlao

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Everyone wins, except…

How do you blunt an attack on a project—whether factual or not—that rides on the coattails of the environmental movement? Why, give in, of course.

This is what the Philippine Reclamation Authority opted to do recently, to put an end to the controversy surrounding its development on Manila Bay that would supposedly kill off a bird sanctuary so loved by birdwatchers and environmentalists.

According to our sources, the PRA has now unveiled a new plan that will “preserve and integrate” the bird sanctuary into the reclamation project, and even turn it into an eco-tourism site.

According to one official familiar with the plan, the bird sanctuary—located along the Parañaque and Las Piñas boundary—will now, in fact, be kept as is and not disturbed, so as to blunt criticism of the project.

At the same time, PRA has also committed to ensure that none of the surrounding areas will experience any flooding because of the reclamation project. Our source said that the Parañaque and Las Piñas rivers will be dredged to increase its depth, while a sandbar will also be removed.

Looks like the new scheme is a winner for all stakeholders involved: the people of Parañaque and Las Piñas, the PRA, the birds and environmentalists. Everyone, of course, except this one particular business family that is hoping to cash in on the deal by raising a howl over it.—Daxim L. Lucas

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Tetra Pak: Noun, not verb

Filipinos, take note: Tetra Pak is a noun, not a verb.

Thus, when referring to products using the packages made by Sweden’s Tetra Pak, the following may be used: Tetra Pak packages or Tetra Pak cartons or Tetra Pak carton packages or Tetra Pak beverage cartons.

On the other hand, it is not right to use the brand as a verb, as in the following sentences: Our milk is Tetra-Packed to ensure freshness. The first Tetra packing facility opened last year. Billions of Tetra Paks are sold worldwide. X brand ready-to-drink milk is available in Tetra Paks.

These examples of correct and incorrect usage of the term “Tetra Pak” were contained in  the brand and trademark guide recently distributed by the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, whose clients here include Alaska Milk Corp., RFM Corp., Magnolia Inc. and Nestle Philippines Inc.

Apparently, it is not uncommon for brand names like Tetra Pak to be used as a verb in the Philippines. Think Xeroxed.—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Nene for Gus

Former Finance Undersecretary Milwida Guevarra, who heads Synergeia Foundation, has openly thrown her support behind Gus Lagman who is up for reappointment to the Commission on Elections. The commission will have its hands full yet again during the local and national elections slated next year.

In a note to her friends in media, Guevarra said that Winnie Monsod—an Inquirer columnist and chair of the Movement for Good Governance—is set to present a letter to President Aquino explaining why the reappointment of Lagman as Comelec Commissioner has become a rallying point for the “Tuwid na Daan.”

On a personal note, Gueverra said that it takes time and personal funds to organize voices for a common cause, such as the appointment of Lagman. It is difficult, and she sometimes wonders why she and others even do it.

But then again, she said, the future of the country is a cause that we must all fight for.

Cliché as it is, she said, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

True to form, Nene is doing something.—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Stormy meeting expected

When shareholders of Asiatrust Development Bank meet on Wednesday morning at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City, expect some irate investors to show up.

Some lament what they consider to be a “clandestine” way of convening the meeting, where the sale of the bank’s operations to Asia United Bank is up for approval.

As the publicly listed bank did not file any notice to the exchange, not all shareholders (especially those whose shares are held by the brokers) were notified of the meeting and given time to study the deal with AUB.

To recall, the deal was structured via an asset sale rather than sale of shares, such that shareholders will still have the holding company to hold on to. But for minority shareholders to better understand, they should be properly informed first.—Doris C. Dumlao

ACI in Boracay

Over 300 local and international financial market experts will again troop to Boracay Island this weekend for the annual convention of ACI Philippines, which is affiliated with Paris-based global markets professional organization. The organization, headed by Coco Martin (the banker, not the young actor) of Banco de Oro Unibank, has lined up prominent panelists from here and abroad, topbilled by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr., for the two-day convention at The Shangri-La that will open this Friday evening. Expect many of the forum participants to extend their stay on the island, especially since the following Tuesday, May 1 (Labor Day) is a national holiday.—Doris C. Dumlao

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TAGS: ACI Philippines, Asiatrust Development Bank, bird sanctuary, Commission on Elections, Environmental Issues, Fund Managers Association of the Philippines, Gus Lagman, Philippine Reclamation Authority, stockholders’ meeting, Tetra Pak
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