Top Frontier eyeing more coal projects

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LONDON: Ahead of its planned listing by way of introduction in the Philippine Stock Exchange, Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., the largest shareholder of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., has expressed its interest to invest in more coal projects in the country.

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Ramon Ang, Top Frontier president and chief executive officer, said in an interview with reporters that as of now Top Frontier doesn’t have any plans to diversify. However, he said that the company may start looking at opportunities in the coal power business as early as now.

“Top Frontier has quite a good investment at the moment and of course, it can invest more on coal projects,” Ang, who also sits as SMC president and chief operating officer, said, explaining that what makes a coal business potentially attractive is it being at the “low-end” or has a cheaper price.

“Right now, the coal business is low-end and the valuation of the coal business is on the low side. So I think there’s an opportunity for us to invest in this business,” he added.

Top Frontier, the largest shareholder of SMC, also owns 100 percent of Clariden Holdings Inc., a holding firm with interests in mining exploration and development in the Philippines.

Top Frontier, which also serves as the investment vehicle of businessman and former Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin in SMC, earlier received the go-signal from its board to make its debut in the country’s equities market.

After property dividend declaration, Top Frontier announced that it decided to list in the Philippine Stock Exchange by way of introduction.

Also, SMC has declared 240.2 million shares of Top Frontier as property dividends at a ratio of 1 share for every 10 shares of SMC held by a shareholder. SMC owns 49.2 percent of Top Frontier, which in turn owns 66.1 percent of the diversified conglomerate.

The fair value of a dividend share, according to SMC, shall be P178 a share, based on the earlier valuation report rendered by Punongbayan and Araullo, an independent advisor engaged by SMC.

The payment of the dividend declaration shall be upon the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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