Of Tan’s billions and his Laguna BelAir

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Emeterio Sd. Perez

Emeterio Sd. Perez

BUSINESSMAN Andrew Tan takes pride in what was once his pet project which he named Laguna BelAir in Santa Rosa, then one of the more progressive towns of Laguna. He developed it using Empire East, a subsidiary of Megaworld Corp., that used to be his listed flagship until he formed Alliance Global Group Inc.

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As one of the Philippines’ more successful property developers, he has been making money developing subdivisions—Laguna BelAir being the first in Laguna—and condominiums.

Let us go over some of Tan’s businesses: He is the majority stockholder of Alliance Global, which, along with New Town Land Partners Inc., owns 17.26 billion shares, or 58.70 percent in Megaworld Corp. Four other companies, which he also owns but not listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, also hold Megaworld shares. All in all, he indirectly controls 18.52 billion Megaworld shares, or 64.22 percent.

Computed at 52-week high of P4.31 a share, Tan’s Megaworld holdings were worth P79.82 billion as of June 30, 2013. Unluckily, with the stock market’s continued fall, his wealth dropped to P64.10 billion, based on the stock’s close of P3.52 on Friday, January 17, for a huge paper loss of 19.7 percent, or P15.72 billion in money term.

Tan, of course, may not be worried at all by such loss because he has not been selling. As a matter of fact, he may even help his group of companies engage in acquiring Megaworld shares in the open market.

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In Alliance Global, Tan, who directly owns 341.68 million shares, or 3.33 percent, also holds through various companies 6.15 billion shares, or 59.77 percent. His personal holdings and his indirect holdings totaled 6.49 billion, or 63.10 percent of Alliance Global’s outstanding capital stock worth P184.32 billion at a year’s high at P28.40. Again, his wealth has been declining and has dropped to P171.34 billion at P26.40 close on Friday.

Despite the decline of the share prices of Megaworld and Alliance Global, Tan and his family remain among the country’s wealthiest, who would not fear the market’s plunge because—again—they are not selling any or selling out.

The public investors may be interested to know that Tan’s personal holdings of 341.68 million shares alone in Alliance Global had market value of P9.02 billion computed at P26.40 close on Friday.
How profitable is Alliance Global?

The numbers contained in a financial filing shows the company’s consistent profitability. As of the end of the third quarter of 2013, Alliance Global has piled up retained earnings of P52.25 billion, which represents the remaining amount minus dividend of P3.84 billion.

The company’s retained earnings showed the Tan-controlled holding company’s share from the country’s burgeoning property business. In the first nine months of 2013, Alliance Global reported consolidated net profit surged 42.35 percent to P19.16 billion from P13.46 billion in the same period in 2012.

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Why is Due Diligencer relating Tan’s wealth in only two of his companies?

The answer should have been known to him has he been—or his trusted people—involved in closely monitoring his favorite and first property project—Laguna BelAir—in Santa Rosa City. Perhaps, he does not know yet that a few years ago, a homeowner was murdered right in his own house and a woman in his late 20s or early 30s was raped and killed also in her own house.

There are probably more crimes that have happened inside Laguna BelAir, but which homeowners have not been told about. And perhaps, many more are bound to happen if Tan and his managers would not act accordingly; they should not forget their responsibility to the buyers of house and lots that Megaworld or Alliance Global and their subsidiaries sell. Don’t leave the duty of protecting the homeowners of Laguna BelAir and condominiums you built to the association.

In the case of Laguna BelAir, the association’s officials would not act on complaints against outsiders who are able to get inside the subdivision without them noticing their presence. Squatters, for instance, who live outside the perimeter fence, stone the houses along Palm Spring. In few of these stoning incidents, homeowners complained of broken glass windows.

Strengthening the fence by raising it by a few more feet or even meters may be effective in stopping the squatters and their children from throwing stones at the houses and climbing the concrete fence. The big question is who would do the job.

If the officers of Laguna BelAir Homeowners Association could not and would not do their job to protect their members, then Tan could perhaps spare a hundred thousand pesos of his billions to improve the perimeter fence along Palm Spring to prevent any future violence from happening.

esdperez@gmal.com

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