PLDT  STILL  86%  OWNED  BY  FILIPINOS  DESPITE  FIRST  PACIFIC  CO.  DEAL

MANILA, FEBRUARY 17, 2007
(STAR) By Jess Diaz - Telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) will still be 86-percent owned by Filipino investors despite the projected additional investments worth P25 billion by Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd.

This is the gist of a report submitted last Monday to the House committee on good government by Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson Fe Barin.

The committee has asked the commission to determine if PLDT, the country’s largest publicly traded company with a market capitalization of P500 billion, would still comply with the requirement under the Constitution of 60-percent Filipino ownership of a public utility if the deal with First Pacific pushes through.

Barin reported that based on the SEC analysis of PLDT’s capital structure and its list of stockholders as reported to the SEC and the Philippine Stock Exchange, PLDT is very much in the hands of Filipinos.

"PLDT has P9,395,000,000 authorized capital stock, of which 86.32 percent is owned by Filipino subscribers while foreign equity amounts to 13.68 percent. As of Sept. 30, 2006, 68.61 percent of the total outstanding common stock of PLDT is owned by Filipinos. Thus, PLDT has met the required 60-percent Filipino equity for a corporation to operate a public utility," she said.

The House good government committee, chaired by Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor, earlier conducted an inquiry into the sale of the government’s 46-percent stake in Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corp. (PTIC) to First Pacific, which already owns 54-percent of PTIC, for P25.2 billion.

PTIC is an investment holding company that owns 14.24 percent of PLDT’s common stock. The government’s 46 percent ownership of PTIC is equivalent to 6.5 percent of PLDT’s common stock.

First Pacific has already deposited half of the agreed price in escrow for the government and will deliver the other half on March 2, when the transaction is to be consummated.

Defensor and other members of the good government committee said they were satisfied with the manner the Department of Finance conducted the bidding for the government’s stake in PTIC.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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