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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        12  April 2011

San Miguel to raise US$850 million

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San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and a major shareholder expect to raise around US$850 million from selling shares and US dollar-denominated exchangeable bonds later this month to fund the conglomerate’s diversification drive.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, SMC said the offering comprises treasury shares and a portion of the shares owned by Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., the biggest voting block in the conglomerate.

From its share of the proceeds, SMC intends to use about P22 billion for investments in its infrastructure business, and the balance for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Top Frontier, which owns 47.5 percent of the total capital stock of SMC, will repay advances from its shareholders excluding SMC that were used to fund purchases of common shares.

Top Frontier shareholders will then use the payments to settle loans from an affiliate of Standard Chartered Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., one of the international joint lenders.

“We estimate around $100 million for the domestic tranche. There will be a greenshoe option of 10 percent,” Ricky Galang, head of capital markets at SB Capital Investment Corp., said in an investors’ briefing.

The price setting and allocation to the overseas market will be decided on April 20, while the domestic offering will run from April 25 to 29. The secondary shares will be crossed at the stock market on May 5.

Ramon Ang, SMC president and chief operating officer, and other officials refused to comment on the offer price of the shares, which was earlier pegged at an indicative price range of P200 to P250. But Ang assured that investors won’t get burned from the share sale.

He said the conglomerate’s “next dream” is for its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to hit $5 billion in the next five years.

SMC’s consolidated recurring EBIDTA was P52.5 billion last year, 75 percent above that in 2009. The company intends to create synergies among its businesses, translating to better value for shareholders, said Ferdinand Constantino, SMC chief finance officer.

The firm plans to build 10 Bank of Commerce branches in its Petron stations in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao. Petron will build 500 new service stations, bringing its branch network to more than 2,200 by yearend.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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