SMC eyes electronics


CONGLOMERATE San Miguel Corp. (SMC) on Wednesday said it is eyeing to enter the electronics business as part of its continuing diversification.

“Another new diversification, going to the third phase of diversification—we hope to be able to convert into electronics, microchips,” SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang told reporters on the sidelines of Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc.’s annual stockholders’ meeting held in Pasig City.

Those are the promising areas to enter, that is why we are studying how to get into those kinds of business. Electronics, microchips, smart TV—that’s the future. Electric car … that’s our aspiration,” he added.

Ang declined to give further details, saying they still have to conduct studies on such a move and whether SMC will acquire existing firms or establish a new one.

“That is our next phase. We cannot divulge the details yet,” he noted.

“Can you imagine next generation if we can produce microchips, if we can produce plug-ins, battery-operated vehicles?” he asked.

Top Frontier, parent of SMC, aims to finish the feasibility study of its planned $1.5-billion nickel processing plant this year so that the company can commence groundbreaking in 2018.

“The feasibility study is being finalized. When the technical and financial aspects are done, then we will go to financing,” Ang said at the same briefing.

“The feasibility study should be done by the end of the year [or]next year… except that prices are not good now,” he added.

He said that once nickel prices start to stabilize, the company will commence work on the project.
Top Frontier earlier announced plans to build a nickel processing plant at its Nonoc nickel mine in Surigao del Norte.



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