Monday, May 2, 2011

Cebu Pacific Bullish about North Asia expansion

The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB) remains optimistic about expansion in North Asia, especially with a passenger growth of 28% for its Greater China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea routes in the 1st quarter (Q1) of 2011.

CEB flew a total of 381,513 passengers between North Asia and the Philippines in Q1 2011, compared to 298,485 passengers in Q1 2010.

Its Q1 2011 passenger figures went up 73% in Taiwan, 30% in Japan, 31% in South Korea and 23% in Greater China, compared to the same period last year.

“CEB offers the lowest fares in all its routes, and North Asia is no exception. We currently operate 73 weekly flights to Greater China, 7 weekly flights to Taipei, thrice weekly flights to Osaka in Japan and 18 weekly flights to South Korea,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.

“The airline is already set to launch its four times weekly Manila-Pusan flights on June 15, 2011, and is hopeful its applications to Japan will be approved to enable it to expand to cities such as Nagoya and Tokyo in the near future. CEB also plans to increase flights to Beijing and Guangzhou to accommodate passenger demand,” she added.

Meanwhile, CEB holds a North Asia seat sale from April 28-30, 2011 or until seats last, for travel from June 1 to August 31, 2011.

P1,499 seats are available for those going from Manila to Guangzhou and Taipei. Manila-Beijing and Manila-Shanghai seats are also up for grabs for P1,999.

Those traveling from Manila to Osaka, Busan and Incheon (Seoul), and Cebu to Busan and Incheon (Seoul) can also avail of P2,999 seats. These seat sale Lite Fares are up to 57% lower than CEB’s year-round fares for these routes.

The latest seat sales and promos can also be found on CEB’s official Twitter and Facebook pages. CEB operates the most number of routes and flights in the Philippines, using the youngest aircraft fleet in the country. This is composed of 10 Airbus A319, 15 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. By the end of 2011, CEB will be operating a fleet of 37 aircraft – with an average age of 3.5 years – one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2012 and 2014, Cebu Pacific will take an additional 16 Airbus A320 aircraft.

SM Declares Cash Dividends

(27 April 2011. Pasay City, Philippines.) Philippine conglomerate SM Investments Corporation (SM) announced during its annual stockholders’ meeting that the company’s board of directors approved the declaration of a PHP 9.04 cash dividend per share worth PHP 5.5 billion. This represents 30% of SM’s full-year 2010 net income of PHP 18.4 billion. SM stockholders of record as of 27 May 2011 are entitled to the cash dividends, which will be paid on 22 June 2011.

SM president Mr. Harley T. Sy said, "SM’s cash dividend declaration comes with our sincere gratitude to all our shareholders. Their support and confidence in our company enabled us to deliver better-than-expected results in 2010. We look forward to their continued patronage in the years to come."

SM and its subsidiaries garnered in March 2011 multiple honors for corporate governance and investor relations. The honors were given by two prestigious business publications namely Corporate Governance Asia and Alpha Southeast Asia under their respective and separate awards programs. Earlier this year, SM also won for the second straight time the Platinum Corporate Award 2010 given by The Asset magazine in Hong Kong for all-around excellence in management, financial performance, corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental
responsibility, and investor relations.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


April 6, 2011. The country’s leading oil refining and marketing company Petron Corporation recently unveiled its Refinery Expansion Project (RMP-2) to meet the fast-changing energy needs of the Philippines. The announcement was made during the commemoration of Petron Bataan Refinery’s (PBR) 50th anniversary. The project - the company’s biggest and most ambitious investment to date - is targeted for completion towards the end of 2014.

Petron Chairman and CEO Ramon S. Ang said  
“The decision to undertake this massive project was borne out of the vision to make Petron Bataan Refinery among the best in Asia.” 

“From a national perspective, this major investment underscores our belief in the country’s prospects and our strong commitment to significantly contribute to nation-building.”

RMP-2 will further enhance the country’s supply security, increase Petron’s capability to supply the increasing demand for white products (LPG, gasoline, and diesel) and petrochemicals.

Once completed, RMP-2 will enable Petron’s Bataan Refinery to “digest” a wider range of crude oils including from African sources, giving it greater flexibility to source cost-efficient crude types from any part of the world. Petron’s operational efficiency will also significantly improve since the project allows the full “conversion” of all remaining black streams into high-margin white products and petrochemicals. This means that the company can run its refinery 100% without incurring penalties from producing low-value fuel oil. For instance, the project will increase current propylene production by nearly 200%. The project doubles Petron’s refining complexity, enabling it to compete more effectively with refineries in the Asia-Pacific region. Another benefit from RMP-2 is the local production of fuels that meet the global clean air standard of the future - Euro 5, further improving air quality in the country.

Petron will partner with leading global technology and engineering companies focused on refining and petrochemical production namely Axens, UOP, CBI Lummus, Foster Wheeler, and Daelim.

Ang added
“The RMP-2 project supports Petron’s strategic initiatives namely our retail network expansion program, the integration of our petrochemicals business, and increasing our presence in the export market. These are aimed at ensuring its growth momentum over the long-term.” 

As of end 2010, the company already has over 1,700 service stations - by far the largest in the country. The country’s fuel demand is expected to increase as the economy continues to grow.

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