PGMA graces IPO of Pepsi shares
Manila (3 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo graced yesterday morning the initial public offering (IPO)of the common stocks of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc.(PCPPI) at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) along Ayala Avenue in Makati City, the first IPO for this year.
Flanked by PSE and Pepsi officials and two Cabinet members onstage at the third-level trading floor of the exchange, the President rang the golden bell shortly after 9 a.m. to signal the start of the day's trading.
Upon her arrival at the PSE, the President was met by PSE chair Jose Vitug, PSE president Francis Lim, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Fe Barin. The President dropped by the Brokers' Lounge before descending the spiral staircase to the stage of the trading floor.
In his welcome remarks, Vitug thanked the President for the "fiscal reforms that stabilized interest rates" and for the "reassuring consistency" in her economic programs.
He also cited the 7.3 percent growth of the country's economy last year, the highest expansion in 31 years.
Vitug pointed out that "we owe that to the President," referring to the reported growth of the economy.
The country's gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the value of goods produced and services rendered in the country in a given period, grew by 7.3 percent in 2007, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
For his part, PCPPI chair and chief executive officer Micky Yong thanked President Arroyo for making time to grace the Pepsi IPO despite her hectic daily schedule, and for the "great job that you have done for the Philippine economy."
Also with the President on the PSE stage were Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and Pepsi president Felix Yu.
During the past 60 years, PCPPI has been the exclusive bottler of Pepsico International's world renowned beverages, including Pepsi Cola, Mountain Dew, Mirinda, Mug, Tropicana, Lipton Ice Tea and Gatorade.
PCPPI has a market capitalization of P1,196 million ($29.2 million). Pepsi officials said proceeds from the listing of common shares -- initially priced at P3.50 per share - will be "used to fund 2008-2009 capital expenditure for additional non-carbonated beverage production facilities, and expansion of carbonated beverage production plants." (PIA) [top]