Lopez Holdings

 

 Lopez bullish on economy, LPZ growth 

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez, chairman of Lopez Holdings Corporation (LPZ), expressed confidence in the economy's growth potentials and in the ability of the Lopez Group to benefit from it.
Speaking before LPZ stockholders at their annual meeting held in Rockwell Center, Ambassador Lopez noted that “the Philippine economy is starting to draw the interest of investors around the world.”

The country’s current Ambassador to Japan attributed this renewed bullishness on the Philippines to investors who are “seeing the potentials of a country that is finally under a government that is led by a President who is perceived as honest, sincere and trustworthy, a sharp change from what we have had in the recent past.”

Lopez pointed out that the Philippines has in fact been included in a list of up and coming countries which have been called the Breakout Nations by a Wall Street expert on emerging economies.

He pointed out that Ruchir Sharma, the head of Morgan Stanley’s Emerging Markets who wrote a book entitled Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles, cited the importance of President Aquino’s Daang Matuwid program.

“Like a growing number of investors, Lopez said, Sharma found it easy to put his trust in President Aquino’s promise of a level playing field, one that will allow investors to be their best unhindered by the usual political rent seekers of the past. Sharma expressed high hopes of our bright future, sparked by the excitement generated by P-Noy’s aura of honesty and good governance,” the Ambassador said.

An upgrade of the country’s sovereign rating by Moody’s and a much better than expected GDP growth rate for the second quarter this year, Mr. Lopez said, heralds the growing optimism in our business sector. A government declaration to reverse the under-spending of the previous year due to anti-corruption reforms was also seen as a promise of a more robust economy than we have seen in recent years.

In this milieu, Lopez sees the major investments of Lopez Holdings in ABS-CBN Corporation and First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) performing creditably. He expects ABS-CBN to maintain its ratings leadership locally and globally as it delivers news and entertainment content on multiple platforms. He also announced that ABS-CBN is all set to launch Digital Television broadcast in the Philippines and is just waiting for government’s approval to do so. Lopez also lauded ABS-CBN’s continued fulfillment of its mission to serve our fellow Filipinos all over the world. “ABS-CBN Global offered innovative tier packages to address the needs of subscribers adversely affected by the situation in the Middle East and Japan, and to some extent in the US.”

The Ambassador also cited FPH’s marking of its 50th anniversary in 2011. He said FPH may participate in the government’s public private partnership program involving power plants. Also noteworthy, Lopez said, is the signing of a deal by FPH associate First Gen Corp., with an Australian company to co-develop geothermal resources in Chile and Peru. First Gen is also considering Indonesia as a possible expansion site.

Lopez also reported that Lopez Holdings itself completed its debt restructuring process, which began in 2002. “Our efforts were rewarded as the stock market anticipated our success with the stock price of Lopez Holdings reaching an intra-day high of P6.95 in May 2011.”

After the tender offer for LPZ unrestructured debt was completed in September 2011, the board approved the first cash dividend of Lopez Holdings since becoming a publicly listed company in 1993. “Although the rate was a modest P0.10 per share, it was symbolic of corporate recovery, following years of utilizing the company’s cash and resources in solving its debt problems.”

Ambassador Lopez renewed the commitment of the Lopez Group to the development of the Philippines, aware that only a prosperous people can be truly free. “We have always united ourselves with our people’s aspirations for a better tomorrow, putting ourselves at their service: to provide them with services that improves the quality of their lives; to inspire them with the best in Filipino talent and ingenuity; to provide them with clean, indigenous and/or renewable energy; to be their tool for investing in all that is good in our country.”

Lopez declared that the Lopez Group “looks to the future with hope and anticipation of better times for our country and people. We remain focused on growing our current businesses to reach more Filipinos and contribute to their well-being. We respond to the needs of our nation with integrity and responsibility.”

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Lopez Holdings Corporation 
16/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan St. corner United St., 1550 Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

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