Feb 112014

The government has recovered the last tranche of Marcos Swiss accounts worth a total of P1.3 billion ($29 million) after a Singapore court ruled that the Philippine National Bank (PNB) had the legal title to the deposits. 

At a press briefing Wednesday, Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chairperson Andres Bautista said the amount has been remitted to the National Treasury on February 5.

The accounts were worth $23 million in 2003 and have since gained interests. 

“The recovered amount form part of the Swiss bank accounts of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his family that were ordered forfeited by the Philippine Supreme Court in 2003 but which were held up in litigation in Singapore since then,” said Bautista. 

In 2003, the Supreme Court granted the forfeiture of the bank deposits, allowing PNB to give most of the money back to the Philippine Treasury under an escrow agreement. 

But the funds were held up in Singapore after complaints were filed against it by human rights lawyers. Singapore’s high court ruled in favor of PNB in 2012. 

Marcos signed on Sept. 21, 1972 Proclamation No. 108 that imposed Martial Law in the Philippines, following increasing civil strife and threats of communist takeover. 

The abuse of authority of the Marcoses and their cronies led to the 1986 People Power Revolution which toppled the regime. Siegfrid O. Alegado/RSJ/KBK, GMA News

Jan 042014
CHR chair: Court decision on Marcos money a ‘lost round’ for Martial Law victims

A round lost for human rights victims during Martial Law. This was how Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales described the Singapore Court of Appeal’s decision to grant over $23 million seized from the estate of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to the Philippine National Bank (PNB) amid competing claims made by three other parties, one of them being the 9,539 human rights victims that suffered under the Marcos regime. Rosales, herself a human rights victim during the Marcos regime, was part of the group of Martial Law victims that filed the class suit laying claim to the Marcos funds held in Swiss banks. In a text message sent to GMA News Online Saturday, Rosales said: “We have lost this round. We have to study the arguments of the case first.” Rosales, however, clarified that the CHR was not legally representing the Martial Law human rights victims in the case. On Friday, the Straits Times reported that the Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of its Supreme Court’s decision to award $23 million in Marcos money to PNB.  The funds, comprised of $16.8 million and GBP4.2 million, form part of Marcos’ illicit fortune stashed in Swiss bank accounts. The court, in the report, said it affirmed the High Court ruling that the PNB held the legal title to the funds as depositor of the money as well as original account holder with WestLB, the Germany-based bank that held the money. Aside from the human rights victims, Read More …

Jul 262013
EastWest Bank to issue another P5-B LTNCDs

MANILA, Philippines – EastWest Banking Corp. will issue another P5 billion worth of long term negotiable certificates of time deposits (LTNCDs), the bank disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday. EastWest Bank said it is now in the process of seeking regulatory approval for the LTNCD issuance. The Gotianun-led bank issued last November P5 billion worth of LTNCD and is expected to complete the offering next month. As this developed, Philippine National Bank (PNB), the financial arm of the Lucio Tan Group, said it had completed the public offering of its P5 billion LTNCDs in record time. PNB was able to raise its intended volume in the morning of July 25, the same day it announced the start of the offer period, making it one of the fastest offerings in the Philippine capital market.  With an oversubscribed book early in its offering, the 5.5-year deposit was priced at three percent, the lowest ever coupon for an LTNCD instrument.  Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The public offer period was supposed to run for three days, from July 25-29, but was closed the same morning as its launch due to strong demand.  “We are overwhelmed by the confidence and support of our investors in PNB.  This fundraising exercise will allow us to support our asset growth, and make us even more competitive in the banking industry.”  PNB president and CEO Omar Mier, said in a statement. For his part, HSBC Philippines president and CEO Wick Veloso said: “Raising Read More …

Jun 192013
LT Group banks on tobacco, liquor to drive growth

STOCKHOLDERS’ MEETING: LT Group president Michael G. Tan (left) addresses stockholders during the conglomerate’s annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday at Seda Hotel in Bonifacio Global City. Looking on is LT Group vice chairman Harry C. Tan. MIKE AMOROSO MANILA, Philippines – Conglomerate LT Group Inc. is capitalizing on the market leadership of its core businesses of tobacco and liquor for further growth, its top executive said yesterday. “We will focus on our core business and fully capitalize on our market leadership position to benefit from the strong demand in growth in consumer-focused businesses,” LT Group president Michael G. Tan told reporters. Non-core businesses like Philippines Airlines (PAL) will end up on the selling block as the company focuses on the consumer sector, he said. LT Group will also take advantage of synergies in its operating units through cross selling while improving the distribution network, Tan said. LT Group of tycoon Lucio Tan is into beer (Asia Brewery Inc.), distillery (Tanduay Distillers Inc.), real estate (Eton Properties Philippines Inc.), banking (Philippine National Bank) and tobacco (PMFTC Inc.). Tan said the group is heavily exposed to the consumer sector, which accounts for two-thirds of the local economy. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “We are right where we want to be as we aim for stronger growth and higher profitability,” Tan said. In April, LT Group raised P37.72 billion in the largest follow-on share sale of a Philippine company that will allow the conglomerate to support the organic expansion of Read More …

Jun 052013
PAL to remain listed – Ang

MANILA, Philippines – National carrier PAL Holdings Inc., partly-owned by conglormerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), will remain a listed company, its top executive said. PAL, Asia’s oldest airline, is preparing a share sale through Philippine National Bank (PNB), president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said. “I think we will comply [with the public float rule],” he said. “That is what our partner wants, to keep it listed,” Ang said, adding that the share sale will be facilitated by PNB, which is owned by PAL’s controlling shareholder, taipan Lucio Tan. In January, the Philippine Stock Exchange suspended the trading of seven firms including PAL due to their failure to meet the required minimum public ownership level of 10 percent. To date, PAL has a public float of just 0.55 percent. The PSE said listed firms that fail to increase their public ownership level to at least 10 percent will have their shares delisted starting June 30, 2013. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 In May last year, diversifying conglomerate SMC bought a 49-percent stake in PAL for about $500 million. SMC also gained management control of the airline. Since the entry of SMC last year, PAL has embarked on a massive re-fleeting program aimed at acquiring 100 new aircraft to replace its existing fleet. It expects to save as much as $400 million from fuel and maintenance costs per year as part of its re-fleeting program. Meanwhile, Ang said SMC is still pursuing plans to put Read More …

May 212013
Lucio Tan holding firm hikes Q1 profit to P3.8B

MANILA, Philippines – The investment holding firm of taipan Lucio Tan grew its profits to nearly P4 billion in the first quarter, driven by its banking and property units. In a regulatory filing, LT Group said its net income climbed 36 percent to P3.8 billion. Consolidated earnings surged 53 percent to P5.8 billion “on the back of the strong performance of the conglomerate’s banking and property segments,” the company said. Revenues picked up 14 percent to P17.7 billion “due to higher revenues from banking, distilled spirits and property development, which offset the revenue drop in the beverage and tobacco sectors,” LT Group said. Specifically, Philippine National Bank (PNB) doubled its profits to P3.7 billion in the first quarter from P1.8 billion a year ago. Revenues of PNB, which merged with Allied Bank to create the country’s fourth largest bank in February, jumped 22 percent to P10.3 billion. Real estate unit Eton Properties Philippines Inc.’s profits surged to P127.5 million from P19 million last year as revenues almost doubled to P1.16 billion from P560 million. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “The increase in revenues is mainly attributed to higher percentage of completion of Eton’s residential and condominium units as well as higher leasing revenues from commercial projects,” LT Group said.