March 27, 2017

PIZZA posts 40% hike in 2016 net income

Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc (PIZZA) announced 2016 net income of P760m up 64% YoY. This, however, included non-recurring gains of P90m in relation to its acquisition and corporate restructuring, IPO expenses, and write-offs of advances from the previous owners. Stripping out these items, core recurring net income would have been P670m which still shows a 40% increase. This came on the back of system-wide sales growth of 14.3% to P7.34b and gross profit margin (GPM) expanding by 820bps. System-wide sales growth, in turn, was driven by a same-store sales growth (SSSG) of 3.9% and a 10.2% increase in store network to 184 stores as of end-2016. Meanwhile, margin improvement was driven by a combination of favorable input prices last year and purchasing synergies after it is consolidated into the Century Pacific Group which also owns listed Century Pacific Food Inc (CNPF).

MPI consortium obtains original proponent status for QC solid waste project

Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPI) today announced that the consortium consisting of MPI, Covanta Energy LLC and Macquarie Group Ltd has been granted Original Proponent Status by the Quezon City local government (QC LGU) to design, construct, finance, and operate an Integrated Solid Waste Management (IWSM) facility. The ISWM facility will be capable of processing and converting up to 3,000 MT/day of the Quezon City’s municipal solid waste into 42MWe of renewable energy, enough to power between 60,000 and 90,000 homes. The project will be undertaken through a JV between the consortium and the QC LGU. As the original proponent of the project, the consortium will have the exclusive rights to enter into detailed negotiations with the QC LGU. Upon successful completion of negotiations, the project will be subjected to a competitive challenge. If and when the consortium is awarded the project, development and construction would take approximately 3-4 years.

March 22, 2017

Foreign Investments still on an Upward Swing

The Philippines still sees a prosperous inflow of foreign investments, which are sustained by the service industry, despite several economic challenges. In an article written by the Philippine Star, "the Philippines recorded a record $7.9 billion net FDI inflow last year, exceeding the full-year target of $6.7 billion, amid external shocks brought about by the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and the normalization of interest rates in the US."

The BSP sees FDI inflows reaching $7 billion this year as the Duterte administration committed to ramp up infrastructure spending.

Malaysia Plans Development in Clark

Malaysia also plans to develop Clark Green City in Subic, according to an article in the Daily Inquirer. The country adds to the growing number of countries who are enthusiastic in investing in the Philippines.

In the article, "Malaysian investors had proposed to organize the government institutions that would set up shop at the 9,450-hectare Clark Green City, which will be the country’s first smart, disaster-resilient and green metropolis spanning towns in Pampanga and Tarlac."

The partnership with Malaysia hopes to bring more support the country’s massive infrastructure buildup from bilateral and multilateral partners.


MPI refutes market speculation of imminent capital raising

Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPI) today issued a statement in response to market speculation that the company will conduct a capital raising exercise in the near term. MPI released the statement following sharp declines in its share price over the past six consecutive trading days, down 10.6% from P6.71/sh to P6.00/sh yesterday, amid unconfirmed reports the company will do a capital raising. MPI said “management has decided that it is not necessary for MPI to conduct a capital raising exercise in the near future” and that the continued expansion of the company is “to be funded through a combination of internal resources and external borrowing.”

March 09, 2017

Co-working Spaces Next Big Thing in Property

In an article written by The Philippine Star, the property market in the country has been seeing an influx of flexible office spaces due to the rise of business startups and multinational corporations. This will play a role in Manila's office sector expansion this year. According to property consultancy firm Colliers International, "flexibler work spaces provide an attractive proposition because of their modern working environments and the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas."
There are currently 50 flexible workspace centers in Metro Manila, says Star, and growth remains "very bright."

BSP relaxes rules on client verification

According to an article from BusinessWorld, Filipinos may soon open bank accounts even without presenting government-issued IDs. The BSP has approved simpler rules in verifying client identity, with a circular to be released in the coming week.

The new rules will allow flexibility on online know-your-customer (KYC) verification and that prospective clients will need to present any official document or certificate issued by local government units in lieu of government-issued IDs. The forthcoming rule changes will facilitate the acquisition of new customers by allowing banks to better target unbanked segments of the country.

DICT open to assigning unused frequencies to new telco player

Various news outlets today reported the Communications Technology secretary as saying government is open to assigning unused frequencies to any capable new telecom player. He said government is now reviewing the inventory of available frequencies, including those being held but remain unused by any entity, with a view of assigning this to any interested telco player with a foreign partner that is financially and technically capable. He also said government will no longer auction such frequencies as earlier planned.

March 08, 2017

SEC favors repeal of bank secrecy law

According to an article from The Philippine Star, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pushing for the repeal of the bank secrecy law as part of efforts to attract more foreign investments into the country. The article quoted the SEC chairperson as saying that the lifting of bank secrecy will result in a stronger financial sector. Herbosa explained that the repeal of bank secrecy will result in better case buildup against serious law violators and will lead to a reduction in financial and monetary crimes.

Foreign firms look into national broadband project

Foreign companies from China, Europe, Israel, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States have expressed interest in the Philippines' plan to build a national broadband network.
The news came from Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the national broadband project on Monday, delivering on a campaign promise to improve internet service in the country.
Salalima said the government would ensure safeguards on data privacy.
"It is very important that even as we will have one digitized network with common bases, we have to protect the privacies of all these data," he added.
The Philippines has among the slowest internet connections in the world, next only to war-torn Afghanistan.
The first talks about nationwide broadband connection was during then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but plans fell through due to allegations Manila's deal with China's ZTE Corp was overpriced.