Ashmore group finds new venture partners

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Emeterio Sd. Perez

Emeterio Sd. Perez

Executive compensation. The five executive officers of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) who receive the biggest pays and perks are Napoleon Nazareno, president and chief executive officer; Ernesto Alberto, executive vice president; and Anabelle Chua, Ma. Lourdes Rausa-Chan and Rene Banez, senior vice presidents.

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As president and CEO, Nazareno receives his compensation from Smart Telecom Inc. but not from PLDT and does not share from the amounts listed in PLDT’s compensation filing. But since Smart, which is a PLDT unit, is not listed, it is not required to disclose Nazareno’s annual compensation.

The clarification means only Alberto, Chua, Rausa-Chan and Banez shared from P133 million—salary, P60 million; bonus, P14 million; others, P59 million—PLDT paid the group in 2013, down from P138 million—salary, P58 million; bonus, P15 million; others, P65 million—in 2012.

This year, PLDT said in its estimate, the group will get P66 million in salary, P16 million in bonus and P53 million in other pays and perks, for a total of P135 million.

P2-B management team
PLDT paid the members of its management team a total of P1.477 billion in 2012 and 2013. Of the amount, P271 million, or 18.348 percent, went to the four most highly paid executives, and the rest, totalling P1.206 billion, went to “all other executive officers, other officers and directors as a group.”

Including P689 million, which PLDT would pay its executive officers in 2014, PLDT’s total executive compensation in a three-year period would top P2 billion, at P2.166 billion.

The pay package, according to PLDT, includes directors’ fees for each meeting of the board and committees attended. The telecom company said it pays each director P200,000 per board meeting and P75,000 per committee meeting.

PLDT said the directors’ fees—P34.60 million in 2012 and P31.90 million in 2013—are included in “other compensation.” It estimated the board fees for 2014 at P36.40 million.

By year, PLDT paid “all other officers and directors as a group” P247 million in salary; P62 million in bonus; and P327 million in other compensation in 2013; P244 million, P62 million and P264 million in 2013. This year, it projected the salary at P274 million; bonus at P68 million and other compensation at P212 million.

Retained earnings
If the Securities and Exchange Commission monitors the financials of listed companies, then as securities industry regulator, it may want to review the retained earnings that public companies keep in the books.

As is known, stock corporations declare dividends out of their retained earnings because keeping too much of their accumulated profits may be in violation of the SEC’s rules on surpluses, unless these rules have already been changed.

For instance, have SEC examiners looked into the financial filings of SM Investments Corp., which is the listed flagship of the group of companies controlled by the family of businessman Henry Sy?

As of March 31, 2014, SMIC reported retained earnings of P154.144 billion, of which P27 billion is appropriated, the same amount it disclosed as appropriated as of December 31, 2013. In 2012, it had P129.459 billion retained earnings, of which P35 billion is “appropriated.”

SMIC has paid-up capital of P7.963 billion and P6.223 billion as of December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012. With its pile of net profits, don’t the public deserve a series of special dividends?

Ashmore here to stay
Remember the Ashmore group of Singapore, which had left the group of businessman Roberto Ongpin, bringing with it choice real estate properties which could be worth billions?

Of course, Ongpin could have had more but this is not about him and his business ventures. Rather, this is about Ashmore and what it intended to do with its newly acquired but directly owned assets.

Being a foreign company, Ashmore is not allowed by law to own 100 percent of a company with property assets. It is, in fact, limited to owning only 40 percent of a property company.

As the law is not on its side, Ashmore looked around and found a group but whose identity has not been disclosed. The new partnership would allow it to continue investing in the Philippines.

esdperez@gmail.com

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