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Abacus property unit to list shares by introduction

Vol. XXII, No. 46 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Monday, September 29, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

THE PROPERTY arm of listed Abacus Consolidated Resources and Holdings, Inc. may list its shares on the stock exchange without necessarily raising capital.

In a phone interview, Abacus Consolidated Corporate Secretary Joaquin San Diego said they would seek approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to list Abacus Global Technovisions, Inc. by introduction in the third week of October.

"Abacus Global has more than 300 stockholders. We are planning to list approximately 340 million common shares with a par value of P1 each," Mr. San Diego told BusinessWorld.

Listing by introduction allows shareholders to trade the stock, while enhancing a company’s image since listed firms are supposed to follow good governance rules.

Listing by introduction also makes it easier for the company to raise funds later via an initial public offering.

Earlier this month, Abacus Consolidated cut its stake in the property company to 9% from two-thirds after distributing Abacus Global’s shares as property dividends to its stockholders.

The holding firm has since transferred control of Abacus Global to parent Blue Stock Development Farms, Inc.

"We are not planning on raising funds. We are just making the shares available to the public so that these can be traded," Mr. San Diego said.

Abacus Global has said it was in talks with two Middle Eastern companies that supply oil to China and Japan for the development of its 30-hectare property in Simlong town in Batangas into a petroleum tank farm.

Aside from the Simlong property, Abacus Global has also acquired a 2,000-square meter property in Lipa City, where it plans to set up a business process outsourcing building.

The company also plans to develop two more properties in Batangas where it plans to convert the Alpa Hotel into a condominium hotel, while Batangan Plaza will double as a culinary art school.

Last week, Abacus Consolidated told the stock exchange listed companies Lodestar Investments Holding Corp. and Music Semiconductors Corp. would jointly buy the holding firm’s subsidiary Abacus Coal Exploration and Development Corp. after conducting a 90-day mutual due diligence. The deal is expected to close by June 30.

Abacus Consolidated’s other subsidiaries include financial service company Philippine Regional Investment Development Corp., where it holds a majority stake, and gambling company Pacific Online Systems Corp., where it has an 18.23% interest.

Last year, Abacus Consolidated signed a contract with the Energy department to explore the viability of coal sites in Surigao del Sur. In October, the company created Abacus Coal to focus on the full-scale exploration of seven coal blocks in the Mindanao province.

The sites are rumored to have 182 million tons of coal reserves estimated at P2.6 billion.

Mr. San Diego earlier said a number of parties have expressed interest in buying their other subsidiary, Abacus Goldmines Exploration and Development Corp. It has yet to decide on the acquisition proposal. — Kristine Jane R. Liu

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