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Quick takes from around the market

1. San Miguel [SMC 105.30, up 2.5%; 433% avgVol] [link] clarified that its President and CEO, Ramon Ang, made an “indirect” investment in Metro Pacific (MPI) “in his personal capacity”. SMC went on to reveal that Mr. Ang’s investment in MPI was “on the invitation of Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan”, and that Mr. Ang was elected to MPI’s board of directors at a meeting held on October 17. The original reporting did not mention the size of Mr. Ang’s investment, but did quote a “ranking Metro Pacific source” as saying that Mr. Ang’s investment was a “prelude” to the eventual merger of the SMC and MPI tollroad businesses “that could potentially be a huge initial public offering.”

MB quick take: It’s somewhat disheartening to see MPI jerk to life again after delisting, but it makes sense if you consider the delisting as a condition precedent to a boatload of value-enhancing activity. The MPI Consortium had no incentive to do anything good prior to the tender offer, and now has all the incentive in the world to wheel and deal since it has now captured a greater proportion of the potential spoils. I think the tollroad speculation is interesting, and aligns with statements that MVP has made about pushing MPI’s tollroad business towards an IPO, and it fits in generally with the recent pattern of cooperation between SMC and MPI on tollroads going back to news in July that the two companies were planning to “jointly develop” a tollway project to link Cavite and Batangas.

2. DITO CME [DITO 2.98, down 12.9%; 41% avgVol] [link] was halted for an hour yesterday after the DITO board approved the issuance of 3.3 billion common shares to Summit Telco Holdings Corporation (Summit) at a price of P1.00/share. Summit purchased primary shares from DITO, which caused DITO’s outstanding shares count to rise from 16.24 billion to 19.54 billion. Summit, a Singaporean firm that was incorporated in June of this year, now owns 25% of DITO’s outstanding shares.

MB quick take: Just another day in Totally Normal Land, where massive chunks of a national telco are sold off to a newborn foreign company with no operational history. Who owns Summit? Is this company related to the other Singaporean firm,