ASIAMONEY PICKS PLDT AS BEST MANAGED COMPANY IN RP

MANILA,
January 26, 2004 (STAR) By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes - Leading telecommunications firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has been chosen by investors worldwide as the best-managed company in the Philippines in a recent survey by Asiamoney, one of Asia’s most influential financial magazines.

Some 201 investors from 180 institutions worldwide participated in Asiamoney’s 2003 survey that ranked Asia’s leading listed companies.

PLDT president and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said this was a testament to the company’s efforts to bring PLDT to levels at par with the best telcos in the region.

"Management’s task is a difficult one, specially when the environment is challenging such as ours. But we remain focused towards making PLDT the premiere telecommunications company not only in the Philippines but in the region," he said.

Aside from being awarded as the Philippines’ Best Managed Company, the Asiamoney survey also recognized PLDT as best in corporate strategy, best in financial management, best focus on shareholder value, best in operational efficiency, and best in investor relations.

PLDT’s performance in the Philippine Stock Exchange has been described as short of phenomenal. From a low of about P250 sometime in late 2002, the stock price is hovering at about P950 and is expected to break the P1,000. Its sister company, Pilipino Telephone (Piltel) is experiencing the same surge. Its share price has tipped the P1.92 level, it’s highest since 1999 and is expected to turn towards profitability due to the strength of the Talk N’ Text brand.

PLDT is expected to announce its full year 2003 results in February, and Pangilinan has been optimistic the company would break the projected net income level of P10 billion even after massive provisions were taken during the first half of 2003.

Pangilinan said he looks at 2004 with even more optimism as PLDT’s fixed line operations stabilize, Smart’s performance continues to rise, and income from subsidiaries like ePLDT starts to kick in.

"Looking forward, though the foundation for growth has been set, there is still so much for us to accomplish in PLDT. As managers who have been entrusted with the leadership of this company, we remain committed to relentlessly improve and innovate our business and our business processes as we endeavor to provide the Filipino with the best telecommunications service possible," he added.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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