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|22 March 2010
Philippines: Sale of PNCC stake given greenlight
The Department of Finance has given the go-ahead for the sale of the Philippine National Construction Corp.’s stake in the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), the proceeds of which will help the government cover its budget deficit for the year, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Interested bidders, however, will not be given a chance to submit their official offers until the end of the first half as PNCC gives way to the May elections.
“After so long, they finally did,” PNCC president Ma. Theresa Defensor said, referring to the DOF’s approval of the auction of the state-run firm’s stake in the toll road.
The sale will involve PNCC’s 20-percent stake in South Luzon Tollway Corp. (SLTC), the Malaysian-backed firm which spent P12 billion to rehabilitate SLEx. Packaged with the SLTC shares will be PNCC’s 40-percent stake in Manila Toll Expressway Systems Inc. (MATES), the company which holds the 25-year contract to operate SLEx.
Among the groups that have expressed interest in buying PNCC’s SLEx shares are Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), the local unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., and San Miguel Corp., which is widely expected to partner with Star Tollway Corp., the company which operates the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star). Star Tollways has reportedly offered P4.85 billion for the PNCC’s shares.
Defensor said the bidding for the PNCC stake would likely have to wait until after the May elections.
Government corporations are barred from entering into new contracts for a certain period of time ahead of national elections to prevent so-called midnight deals.
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