GSIS owns 3% of ‘Max’s Fried Chicken’

Emeterio Sd. Perez

Emeterio Sd. Perez

PCD Nominee Corp. holds 1.043 billion shares, or 96 percent, of Max’s Group Inc. for Filipino stockholders and 37.2 million shares, or 3.43 percent, for foreigners. This ownership profile of Max’s Group is shown in a report as of March 31, 2015.

With this kind of listing, the public investors may find it difficult to identify the majority stockholders and the number of shares that each of them owns.

In this case, they will have to sift thru other PSE postings to know who owns what. Again, in its report, PCD Nominee named a few significant stockholders who may only be the record owner but not the beneficial stockholders, such as Banco de Oro Trust Banking Group, 42.9 million Max’s shares; Citibank N.A., 13.5 million and 5.3 million shares, for foreigners; Deutsche Bank-Manila, 8 million and 1.1 million shares, also for foreigners.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. holds 11.8 million Max’s shares for foreigners and 28.4 million Max’s shares for Filipino clients.

GSIS in Max’s
The Government Service Insurance System must be the biggest stockholder of Max’s Group among stockholders outside the Trota-Fuentebella family. It is the beneficial owner of 32.6 million Max’s shares, or 3 percent, held for it by PCD Nominee Corp. Said holdings had a market value of P787.2 million based on Wednesday’s close of P24.15. For this reason, the fund’s team of managers led by Roberto G. Vergara, president and general manager, should encourage GSIS members to patronize Max’s fried chicken and the members of the Max’s Group food chain.

Incidentally, Max’s Group does not identify its units as part of the chain in its information materials. I happened to receive a black glass. Should I be surprised when I make my coffee every morning to see the “Maple” logo slowly appearing outside the glass? I was not. Was the omission intentional? If it was, then Max’s Group must have a justifiable reason to have isolated Maple from it as the parent company.

Family insiders
A public ownership report shows that company insiders, as a group, own a total of 196 million Max’s shares, or 25.2 percent. Among them are Sharon T. Fuentebella, 52.9 million Max’s shares, or 6.8 percent; Robert F. Trota, 33.9 million shares, or 4.3 percent; Cristina T. Garcia, 33.3 million shares, or 4.3 percent; Dave T. Fuentebella, 25.9 million shares, or 3.3 percent; and Carolyn T. Salud, 33.3 million shares, or 4.3 percent.

Of course, while PCD Nominee holds said Max’s shares for the above insiders, the public ownership report shows much of their wealth is held for them by Trofi Ventures Corp., which owns 72.9 million shares, or 9.3 percent and by “other affiliates” with 109.6 million shares, or 14.1 percent. At P24.15 per share, these holdings have a market value of more than P4.4 billion, equivalent to 16.5 percent of Max’s market capitalization of P26.7 billion on Wednesday.

P1.3-B executive payroll
The Manila Electric Co. pays its executives so well that in the last two years —that is, 2013 and 2014—its executive payroll has breached P1 billion at P1.35 billion. Of the total, P355 million, or 26.3 percent, went to the top five executives led by Oscar S. Reyes, president and chief executive officer.

The generosity of Meralco’s board, chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan, did not stop with Reyes. The four other key managers who share in the P355 million total salaries and bonuses in 2013 and 2014 were Alfredo S. Panlilio, Betty C. Sy-Yap, Ramon B. Segismundo, senior vice presidents; and William S. Pamintuan, first vice president.

With this elite group getting P355 million, or P71 million each, the rest of Meralco managers numbering 32 as enumerated in the filing, should have received a total of P992 million, or an average of P31 million each.

The average discrepancy between the top five and the rest must be too big to ignore. Still, P31 million each may not be bad at all. Of course, the compensation of each of the members of the management team in any company varies. Some may get more than the others.

Pangilinan, who is better known by his initials MVP, is not on the list of Meralco’s highest paid executives.

Insider trades
Arthur Vy Ty, chairman of the board of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., indirectly owns 317 million MBT shares, or 12.75 percent. These are held by a stockbroker and four companies that he controls.

As of Wednesday, Ty’s indirect holdings in Metropolitan Bank had a market value of P30.8 billion computed at P95.20 per share. He also directly owns 9.046 million shares with a market value of P879.4 million.

Ty is among the five highest-paid executives of Metropolitan Bank. The others are George S.K. Ty, the family patriarch, group chairman; Fabian S. Dee, director and president; Joshua E. Naing, senior executive vice president; and Fernand Antonio A. Tansingco, executive vice president. As a group, they were paid P117.65 million in 2013, which increased by 17.3 percent to P138 million in 2014.


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