The two emails sent in recently by two readers of The Manila Times were not the ordinary type of comments that I often receive in reaction to my Due Diligencer pieces. These two need information and I am answering them below.
On SMDC’s Tagaytay condominium projects, Filo Cucueco wrote on Nov. 20, 2017:
“I read your pieces on the SMDC properties in Tagaytay. I would like to ask if you have recent updates on the status of the tenants. Were they able to receive their CCT? Thank you for your time, and a response would be equally appreciated.”
Due Diligencer: As I have emailed you back, I know that some, if not many, have already received the titles to their condominium units. As far as Due Diligencer is concerned, SMDC, or SM Development Corp., should have given the CCTs to those who have fully paid for their units.
In other words, if SMDC, and other developers, too, want to continue selling, they must teach their sales people to be honest in dealing with potential buyers.
On. Nov. 22, Rey Balanga wrote for additional information about OPM.
I have been following your articles in The Manila Times about OPM and I’ve been holding the stock. I just wanted to ask about its current disclosure.
Do you think they will inject the existing power generation of URC and JGS to OPM? Thank you and God Bless!”
Due Diligencer: OPM is the market symbol of Oriental Petroleum and Minerals Corp. It belongs to the group of companies owned and controlled by businessman John Gokongwei Jr. and his family.
Since Mr. Balanga specifically wants to know about the plans of the Gokongweis regarding OPM, he may want to attend the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Jan. 18, 2018.
Among the items in the agenda is an amendment to the company charter, such as “(a) to invest or engage in the business of power generation. (b) to invest or engage in the exploration, development, utilization and commercialization of renewable energy resources, such as biomass, solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and ocean energy resources, including the application of hybrid systems and other emerging renewable energy technologies for the generation, transmission, distribution, sale and use of electricity and fuel generation from renewable energy resources.”
Due Diligencer’s take
SM stands for ShoeMart, which was SM’s first store outlet in Santa Cruz, Manila. It is only unfortunate that even the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) website does not tell the public what these two letters stand for. As a matter of fact, SM Investments Corp. uses these two letters as its market symbol.
As a unit, SMDC, which is an abbreviation for SM Development Corp., is the property developer of the SM group.
As for Oriental Petroleum, the company has made its plans very clear. Aside from engaging in power generation, it said its meeting in 2018 is also intended to grant the “authority of the board to amend and repeal the by-laws or adopt new by-laws.”
There is nothing wrong with the amendment as long as the management of Oriental Petroleum would consider the plight of its public investors, particularly OPM’s small stockholders.
As a matter of fact, the Gokongwei group could start recognizing the role of the public investors in enabling JG Summit Inc., Robinsons Land Corp. and Universal Robina Corp. to list their common shares.
The listing did not make JGS, Robinsons Land and URC also public, but it saved these Gokongwei companies some funds which otherwise they would have spent had their common shares not been listed on the PSE.
Consider the amount of savings the family had made by taking into account the following formula: An unlisted company pays the Bureau of Internal Revenue 25 percent of its market value, while a listed company would pay only 1/5 of 1 percent of market value.
How about letting the public stockholders of the Gokongwei-owned listed companies elect their nominees to the board? Just asking.