• Vista Land’s insider advantage

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    EMETERIO SD. PEREZ

    EMETERIO SD. PEREZ

    THE expansion of the Villar group of companies will be closely watched following the appointment of Mark Villar as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways. Any move of the family-owned Vista Land and Landscapes Inc. makes from now on will be fully scrutinized, not because it has the money but because it has an insider advantage.

    As an insider, the young Villar can never dissociate himself from the family who owns Vista Land group of companies.

    Will drawing a map, or as many maps as needed, that will show the extent of property ownerships of the Villars be enough assurance that there will be no conflict of interest between the family’s Vista Land group and Villar, the son, as public work and highways secretary?

    The answers will be known only when Villar, the son, shall have spelled out original projects that he envisions to undertake as public works and highways chief.

    While the Villars have yet to decide on the map, or maps, of their property wealth, the new public works and highways secretary should properly disclose his role in the Vista Land group, which his family owns. His disclosure should not be limited to Vista Land as the parent company but should also cover his participation in the holding company’s various subsidiaries.

    Vista Land group
    Duediligencer cannot accommodate Vista Land’s long list and descriptions of directly owned subsidiaries. The public who may be interested in knowing them have only to read disclosures by accessing VLL on the website www.edge.pse.com.ph. VLL is the market symbol of Vista Land.

    As listed in a filing posted on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Vista Land has seven wholly owned subsidiaries. As a property group of companies, it said in the same PSE posting that it “offers a range of products from socialized and affordable housing to middle-income and high-end subdivision house and lots and condominium projects.”

    Vista Land said in the same regulatory filing that four of its seven units own 27 subsidiaries.

    Such is the property wealth of the Villars, who include the public works and highways secretary. This is based only on what Vista Land has disclosed to the public in compliance with the market’s full disclosure policy. How about the family’s other businesses?

    Less expense
    Doing your own research at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be less expensive than via the internet. The SEC’s express system is more expensive. So the public is advised to go to the SEC and have the files that need to be photocopied.

    The more important documents to back up your research are listed on the SEC’s website. Among them are the Articles of Incorporation; original an amended by-laws; and general information sheets. The SEC’s list of company documents is long but does not include the audited financial reports.

    Imagine the expenses you might incur if you were to personally do the research on the possible connections of Mark Villar with any of the subsidiaries of the family-owned Vista Land group. But it pays to know Villar, the son, better.

    Should you fail to connect him to any of these subsidiaries, then you may end up looking for his holdings or executive posts in any of the units of Vista Land’s subsidiaries.

    To facilitate your search for Villar, the secretary, among the SEC’s company files, draw a chart that shows every company that belongs to Vista Land group. A chart will be better than a map or even maps that will show the landholdings of the Villar family.

    A final suggestion: Why not make a separate chart of lands for sale in the entire country? In this way, the Duterte administration will be able to monitor if anyone among the Villars and the companies they own is, either among the sellers, or among the buyers of any of their properties in any part of the country.

    Similar to the situation in the stock market, a Villar as a public works and highways insider places the family at a big advantage over the rest of the moneyed Filipinos.

    esdperez@gmail.com

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