RVO’s P21.8B paper wealth



HOW rich is businessman Roberto Ongpin that his wealth would merit congressional investigation? I do not have the answer. But to make it easier for the envious men – and women – clothed with parliamentary immunity to go after him, Duediligencer is providing them the numbers.

It is hoped that Mr. Ongpin, a former trade minister during the regime of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos, would not hate this piece and the writer for “exposing” him. His haters, though, should be told if not simply reminded, that the computation here is based only on the contents of filings Philweb Corp. posted on the Philippine Stock Exchange website.

Mr. Ongpin is the majority stockholder, not the sole owner, of Philweb. A regulatory filing, titled public ownership report (POR) as of Dec. 31, 2015, credited him with ownership of 767,579,396 Philweb shares, equivalent to 53.54 percent of 1,433,574,580 outstanding Philweb shares.

With his ownership of more than 50 percent of outstanding shares, Mr. Ongpin is the majority owner of Philweb, which, being listed, is hopefully also public. His fellow insiders hold 38,474,944 Philweb shares or 2.684 percent while two principal stockholders combine for an ownership of 273,240,829 shares, or 19.06 percent.

As for the public, the same POR showed they own 354,239,545 Philweb shares, or 24.71 percent.

(Note: When the percentages are added, they would not total exactly 100 percent but only 99.99 percent due to rounding of numbers to two or three decimal places.)

Capital profile
Philweb has an authorized capital stock of 2.6 billion common shares of which 1,160,333,804 are classified as “issued and outstanding” as of Dec. 31, 2015.

The phrase inside a pair of quotation marks should have only been “issued” to differentiate the two words.

As of yesterday though, the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange listed 1,434,541,080 outstanding Philweb common shares, which was 274,207,276 shares less than Philweb’s 1,160,333,804 outstanding common shares as of Dec. 31, 2015. The reduction, a result of the company’s continuing share buyback, increased Philweb’s treasury shares to 628,828,897, including the shares the company reacquired in 2015.

Buyback gains
In an audited financial filing as of Dec. 31, 2015, Philweb said it had spent P4,211,137,736 in buying back 354,621,621 shares, which it eventually defined in financial postings as “treasury shares.” This translates to an average buyback price of P11.875 per share.

In 2015, however, Philweb upped its buyback price per share when it spent P269,358,695 in the reacquisition of 12,848,522 shares at P20.964 per share.

Did Philweb make money from the sale of treasury shares? A series of deals in 2012 showed it did, along with its subsidiary.

The company provided the answer in the footnotes to a financial filing on the share purchase agreement it made with ePLDT Inc. on the sale by the latter of 397.9 million or 27 percent Philweb shares. The details are found in Footnote No. 16 of Phiweb’s 2015 audited financial statement, which, among others showed ePLDT’s selling price at P10-P10.7 per share four years ago.

On April 4, Philweb opened trading and closed the session at P22 for a paper gain of P10.125 per share, or 85.263 percent.

RVO’s paper worth
For those interested in knowing how rich Mr. Ongpin is even in paper only, Duediligencer is limiting the computation of his holdings to 767,579,396 shares that he either directly or indirectly owns.

At a 52-week low of P13.48 per share, Mr. Ongpin’s had a paper wealth of P10,346,970,258.08. If the amount is too long to read, it could be rounded to P10.347 billion.

The amount of P10.347 billion may make Mr. Ongpin, or RVO, very rich. How about computing his paper wealth based on Philweb’s 52-week high of P28.50?

The result would be more astounding, because the value of RVO’s holdings in Philweb would more than doubled to P21,876,012,786.

Again, the number may be confusing. To make it more easily understandable, it could be shortened to P21.876 billion. Never mind if by shortening it, Mr. Ongpin loses P12,786, which, anyway, is not much to lose.

As the title of this piece suggests, Mr. Ongpin is very rich in paper because he is not about to abandon Philweb, which has been under his control since he founded the company 16 years ago.



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  1. Johnny Ramos on

    Paper wealth does not mean anything unless the holder started to unload and have to pay capital gains to the government. If these large chunk of share will be unloaded by Mr. Ongpin it could bring the price per share if done in one shot.

  2. That’s the beauty of long term investment. There is nothing wrong the way Mr. Ongpin accumulated his wealth thru price appreciation of Philweb share. His holding of Philweb shares had been 16 long years, so what is wrong with that? Just because Mr. Ongpin’s is wealthier by P10.347B or P21.876B for that matter, does it need congressional inquiry? Would not it be unchristian and very unfair for an astute businessman like of Mr. Ongpin to rich to be under congressional inquiry? If your line of thinking is to be followed, what about the other stockholders of publicly listed companies whose share prices appreciated? They also become billionaire in paper because of the price appreciation.