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Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.
AEV consolidates banking units under UnionBank

ABOITIZ EQUITY Ventures, Inc. (AEV) transferred its ownership in PETNET, Inc. to the subsidiaries of UnionBank of the Philippines that will consolidate the conglomerate’s interests in banking and financial services.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the holding firm said it signed a share purchase agreement for the sale of its 51% stake in PETNET to City Savings Bank, Inc. and Union Properties, Inc. (UPI) for P1.2 billion.

An affiliate of AEV, UnionBank owns 99.77% of CitySavings and 100% of UPI. The subsidiaries acquired 2.46 million shares in PETNET at P487.54 apiece, which is based on the agreed enterprise value for PETNET and its assets, net of the amount attributable to the other shareholders of PETNET.

“The sale and resulting consolidation of all of AEV’s existing interests in banking and financial services will unlock shareholder value from the synergies between the core businesses of CitySavings and PETNET,” the conglomerate said.

PETNET, known under the retail brand PERA HUB, has the largest network of Western Union outlets in the Philippines. With over 2,800 outlets nationwide, it offers a variety of cash-based services including remittance, currency exchange and bills payment.

CitySavings intends to take advantage of PERA HUB’s retail network and expand its existing loans marketing partnership with PETNET to boost its market reach.

The acquisition also gives the UnionBank group a platform to conduct agency banking, in which banks can employ third-party outlets to perform certain financial services in their behalf.

The consolidation also supports the BSP’s efforts to improve financial inclusion in the country by using non-traditional channels.

The completion of the sale, targeted by the second quarter of 2018, is subject to the approvals by the Philippine Competition Commission and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

AEV posted a 7% decline in net income to P15.9 billion in the first nine months of 2017 compared to P17.1 billion in the previous, dragged by non-recurring losses of P1.2 billion from foreign exchange losses from the revaluation of dollar-denominated loans and pre-termination costs on refinancing.

Without the extraordinary items, AEV’s core net income remained flat at P17.1 billion.

Aside from financial services, AEV is also engaged in power, food, real estate and infrastructure.

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Aboitiz and Lopez firms team up for Visayas construction projects

THE CONSTRUCTION companies of the Aboitiz and Lopez families are joining forces to undertake projects in central Philippines.

In a statement, Aboitiz Construction, Inc. (ACI) and First Balfour, Inc. said they signed a memorandum of understanding “to explore potential project collaborations in the Visayas.”

The two firms will combine their expertise and resources to pursue prospects and secure contracts in the region.

“This partnership guarantees resilience and competitiveness as both can leverage on respective strengths,” said Aboitiz Construction Chairman Jaime Jose Aboitiz was quoted in the statement as saying.

Combined, Aboitiz Construction and First Balfour bring almost a century of construction experience, with strong presence in the country.

Aboitiz Construction began operations in 1975 with its head office in the Visayas while First Balfour, a Lopez-led company, started in 1969 with its headquarters in Luzon.

Aboitiz Construction is capable of doing work from conceptualization to execution and commissioning, from earth moving to marine structures, from petrochemical to world-class resorts, from warehouses to office buildings and more.

Lopez-led First Balfour has a track record in building real estate, water and transport infrastructure as well as power and energy.

The construction sector is poised for sustained rapid growth given the strong private sector activity and the roll out of the government’s P8-trillion aggressive infrastructure program — dubbed “Build, Build, Build” — that aims to decongest the Philippine capital and boost countryside development. 

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Aboitiz Group’s new unit inks partnership deal with Japan-based Weathernews

WEATHER SOLUTIONS, Inc., a newly created unit of the Aboitiz Group, is partnering with Japan-based Weathernews, Inc. (WNI) for the delivery of hyperlocal weather information to Philippine businesses.

In a statement released over the weekend, Weather Solutions said it signed a memorandum of understanding with WNI, which will allow the companies to collaborate on various areas such as providing training for meteorologists, consumer services, and new tools.

Weather Solutions, described as the country’s first weather-centric social enterprise, provides available historical and real-time weather data, forecasting, and consultancy to companies across different industries.

WNI, the world’s largest private weather service company, has over 30 years of experience, technology and operating systems that “can help local businesses interpret how weather data can be used to mitigate operational risks and/or drive industry-specific solutions to boost performance.”

Weather Solutions President Jojo Z. Marasigan said WNI would help analyze the available weather data for companies.

“For instance, in retail, WNI’s data analysis can predict which specific products are supposedly sellable for a particular time of the year. We are excited to take this journey with WNI, possibly creating breakthrough platforms that will change the way businesses operate, especially around the communities that they support. In incorporating use of weather data for business, we are seeing growth in our prospective partners’ gains,” Mr. Marasigan was quoted as saying.

With its partnerships with WNI and Aboitiz Group’s WeatherPhilippines Foundation, Inc., Weather Solutions can “create a robust and reliable data-as-a-service (DaaS) solution for its customers.” The company offers customizable weather datasets that companies and individuals can use for decision making.

“This partnership with Weather Solutions is a very big step in moving forward. We understand that the company has already installed around 800 automated weather stations (AWS), and this is a very good thing. We appreciate what you have done and we feel very honored to be a partner,” WN Weatherstreet Philippine Branch General Manager Hirokazu Koro was quoted as saying.

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