Morning Links as of May 10, 2012:
1.) Okada vows to beat Wynn via $2B PH project (Inquirer)
Kazuo Okada, the chairman of Japan-based Universal Entertainment—and one of four investors in the Entertainment City of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.—reaffirmed his commitment to invest $2 billion in the gaming development and, in the process, create up to 16,000 direct and indirect jobs for Filipinos in the service and manufacturing sectors.
Wynn Resorts is the flagship corporation of Okada’s rival, in which he owned the largest block of shares until he was ejected in a boardroom coup three months ago.
Okada claimed that Wynn’s accusations against his alleged corrupt practices—as detailed in a report prepared by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh—were unfounded and fabricated merely out of fear that he would end up controlling the Las Vegas-based gaming giant.
He said Universal Entertainment had some $470 million in funds ready to be used for the Pagcor Entertainment City project as construction progresses.
He said his gaming complex will be completed by 2014.
2.) Pangilinan, Razon: Titans clash over oil deal with Chinese firm (Inquirer)
Ports tycoon Enrique Razon is opposing a plan by Philex Mining Corp. chair Manuel Pangilinan to bring in a Chinese company as a partner in tapping natural gas deposits in Recto Bank off the coast of Palawan province.
Razon was irked by Pangilinan’s admission that he visited Beijing last week to meet with CNOOC officials with SC-72 as the “primary focus of discussions.”
“Philex is going back to the stance of (former President) Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of acceding to the ‘joint development’ of the West Philippine Sea which is the Chinese position. China essentially bought GMA. Yes, it is treasonous,” said Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello.
Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon said: “Why are we allowing the Chinese to explore any part of our territory when they are treating us like pushovers in our boundaries? It’s like going to bed with the enemy.”
In a text message, Pangilinan said: “He’s entitled to his opinion, I suppose. All I can say is—“How does he (Razon) know what we talked about with CNOOC? As far as I know, he was neither invited to nor was he present at the meeting. The resource potential of SC-72 was not discussed at all.”
3.) Malaysian group sets expansion plan for PH bank (Inquirer)
Malaysian banking giant CIMB has unveiled an aggressive expansion plan for newly acquired Philippine banking franchise Bank of Commerce, after signing on Tuesday a deal to acquire a 60-percent stake in the bank from the San Miguel group for some P12.2 billion.
Incorporated in December 1963, BoC is the 16th-largest bank in the Philippines with total assets of P96.3 billion. It currently operates 122 branches and 300 ATMs throughout the Philippines.
“BoC is small today but it can grow quickly with its low loan-to-deposit base and high capital ratios. It also strengthens CIMB Group’s overall regional value proposition of facilitating intra-Asean investments and trade as well as travel,” said Nazir. “With this acquisition, our retail network will increase to 1,239 full branches, reaffirming our credential of having Asean’s largest branch footprint.”
Nazir said one of CIMB Group’s strengths was its ability to integrate and derive synergy out of its acquisitions. “I have always said that the ability to integrate an acquisition is more important than the acquisition itself. We have a great track record thus far and will look to that as we bring BoC into the fold,” he said.
4.) Ayala Land earnings jump 31% in Q1 (ABS CBN)
Strong revenues from its property businesses helped Ayala Land Inc.’s (ALI) first quarter profits grow 31% to P2.13 billion from P1.62 billion during the same period last year.
ALI’s consolidated revenues for the first quarter hit P12.39 billion, 17% higher compared with P10.59 billion from a year ago. The bulk came from revenues of its real estate and hotel businesses, which rose 18% to P11.77 billion.
Revenues from the residential segment increased by 21% to P7.01 billion in the first three months, as the value of bookings across the residential brands (Ayala Land Premier, Alveo, Avida, and Amaia) grew by 48%.
5.) PDIC reviews BDO proposal to rehabilitate Export Bank (ABS CBN)
BDO Unibank on Wednesday said it submitted a proposal to rehabilitate the recently shuttered Export & Industry Bank, which is currently under receivership.
“BDO Unibank, Inc. confirms submission of a proposal for consideration of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC),” the Sy family-led bank told the stock exchange.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that BDO has submitted a proposal that “it is prepared to move in immediately” and take over some P14 billion in the bank’s deposit liabilities.
6.) MPI 1Q profit up 91% to Php1.57 Bil
Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s (MPIC) first quarter net profits soared 91% to P1.57 billion from P820 million a year earlier, as a result of higher earnings from its utilities Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Maynilad Water Services Inc.
MPIC said its core net income rose 40% to P1.59 billion in the first quarter of the year, compared to P1.13 billion during the same period in 2011.
The company attributed the rise in core net income to higher profit contributions from Maynilad and Meralco, as well as benefits from recent investments in the hospital group and MPIC parent company’s lower interest costs.
MPIC’s consolidated revenues grew by 32% to P6.67 billion in the first quarter, compared to P5.05 billion last year. Maynilad contributed P862 million, representing 46% of the core net income by MPIC portfolio companies. Meralco contributed P534 million (28%), while Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) gave P367 million (19%) and the Hospital Group added P124 million (7%).
7.) Apex Mining confirms significant potential of Maco Porphyry System (PSE)
• The first APEX exploration hole has intersected significant Cu and Au mineralisation
associated with multiphase stockwork veining returning email@example.com%Cu and
1.88g/tAu from 11.10m down the hole a second zone of firstname.lastname@example.org%Cu and
0.52g/tAu from 83.6m. Uncut, the hole returned email@example.com% Cu and 0.34g/tAu
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– Faceless Trader