NOW Restructures for Growth

NOW Corp. (PSE: NOW) has set off its expansion program for Fiber Air after successfully providing internet connectivity solutions for enterprises, government agencies, commercial and residential buildings since its maiden launch in 2015. To date, NOW has engaged with business partners to expand its presence in several regions including Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon. With its coverage blanketing Metro Manila, it has become one of the fastest growing broadband service providers and the first in the market to roll-out next generation networks in the country.

NOW is the only broadband provider that delivers guaranteed broadband connectivity to its clients 24×7, done through fixed wireless access (FWA) deployment of next-generation high-capacity wireless to the market. FWA is not new to the telecom world. Used also by leading telecom giants Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and even Google Fiber that turned to fixed wireless to deliver broadband connectivity, the FWA completes the last mile deployment to end customers—a solution that proves to be more cost effective and faster to deploy than traditional hard wire. NOW currently delivers a maximum 2.40Gbps Capacity through FWA that can bridge geographical expansion limitations.

As part of its aim to expand its presence outside Mega Manila and to strengthen the economy in the countryside, NOW introduces Network ng Mamamayang Pilipino (NOW-NMP) in providing opportunities for regional entrepreneurs to bring the Fiber Air technology to areas that are underserved and unserved.

The idea of NOW-NMP is simple: partner with visionary entrepreneurs that have strong local roots with the aim to deliver new technologies by becoming a Business Partner. The model allows the Business Partner to immerse itself in the lucrative world of telecom by providing internet connectivity solutions. By entering into a partnership with NOW, Business Partners are able to give back to the community by way of digital enablement which results to accelerating transactions and boosting income of constituents.

“We seek to partner with like-minded individuals, game-changers who take subtle pride of being the unsung heroes of providing jobs and introducing innovations in a local territory in which they operate and help move forward the country’s economic progress,” said Rodolfo P. Pantoja, Chief Operating Officer of NOW Corp.

“It may be hard to believe but successful entrepreneurs are not just about profit—though fundamental to any business—but nothing can be more rewarding than knowing that entrepreneurs accomplish something for the greater good. Profitability brings success. But improving the lives of people builds legacy. The NOW-NMP is not just about a profitable business venture, it provides a platform for entrepreneurs to be at the forefront in building a more progressive society thru internet connectivity,” Pantoja said.

“The challenge is to bring quality broadband to areas underserved and unserved. This is where our NOW-NMP program comes into play. The roll-out of quality broadband to areas which have been long deprioritized would significantly bring progress – at home, at school, in the workplace,” said Kristian Pura, Head of Strategy and Head of Business Partnerships of NOW Corp. Interested partners may submit their details via online:

Broadband Powered and Interconnected Electronic LED Billboards

NOW has partnered up with DOOH PH, one of the foremost billboard companies in the country, to implement a Connected Electronic Billboard in the Philippines which is targeted to be available in the next few months.

As outdoor advertising increasingly become a vital part of mainstream advertising in the Philippines, DOOH PH offers a distinct market presence in an environment uninterrupted by editorial and programming content.

“Having a reliable broadband connectivity that provides guaranteed speeds and available 24/7 is key in pushing our content to all our electronic billboards in Metro Manila. Think of being able to watch and synchronize ads as you traverse the major roads where OOH has presence. Partnering with NOW Corporation and its affiliates as a broadband and content provider in delivering the promise of pushing live content to all our billboards is another breakthrough in a changing world of consumer advertising,” says Alvin Carranza, President of DOOH PH.

NOW and its affiliates continuously seek to engage and collaborate with companies like DOOH PH through new digital media platforms and capabilities. “NOW believes that the next generation cutting edge technology capabilities following the digital lifestyle of customers would generate new revenue schemes for Digital outdoor advertising,” says Joemar Tiano, Head of Media and Cable TV.

Quasi Reorganization and Issuance of Preferred Shares

In line with NOW’s plan for expansion and diversification of its business segments, the stockholders, in the March 8, 2019 Special Stockholders’ Meeting, approved the equity restructuring plan of the Company in order to eliminate accumulated deficit, strengthen its financial position and to allow it to declare dividends to shareholders from its unrestricted retained earnings that will be generated subsequent to the equity restructuring.

In addition, the company reaffirms its commitment to provide its investors new avenues for investments through a follow-on offering of preferred shares.

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Marubeni Corp. and D.M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI, PSE: DMC), one of the largest engineering-based construction companies in the Philippines, have been awarded the Manila LRT Line 2 East Extension Project, an electrical and mechanical (E&M) package for a 4km railway system extension with two additional stations eastwards for the Department of Transportation (DoT) of the Philippines. The contract value is equivalent to approximately JPY6.9 billion, or $62 million.

Marubeni, as consortium leader, will be responsible for overall administration and the procurement of E&M railway systems, while DMCI will be responsible for track-work procurement and construction and the installation of E&M systems. DMCI is the contractor responsible for constructing a viaduct and two new stations—Emerald and Masinag—for the project. Construction on these items will soon be completed.

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Filinvest Land 2018 Revenue Up 10% YoY

Filinvest Land Inc. (PSE: FLI), the property arm of Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp. (PSE: FDC), registered a 10% increase in revenues year-on-year (YoY), with gross revenues of PhP22.21 billion in 2018.

Driven by rental revenue growth of 27% YoY, which reached PhP5.61 billion, FLI’s recurring income contributed to 46% of FLI’s net income in 2018. FLI’s net income hit PhP6.08 B in 2018, an increase of 4% from PhP5.83 billion in 2017.

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Megaworld, Empire East to Build PhP20B Township in Cainta

Megaworld Corp. (PSE: MEG), along with its subsidiary Empire East Land Holdings Inc. (PSE: ELI), is developing a 24‐hectare property along F. Felix Avenue in Cainta, Rizal, to become the Highland City township.

The company’s 24th township development, Highland City will host the expansive Highland Mall with a gross floor area of around 58,000 square meters, rows of residential towers on a highland area, mixeduse towers, a church as well as open and green parks.

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Clark Water Inks Term Loan Agreement for CAPEX Program

Clark Water Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manila Water Co. Inc. (PSE: MWC) through Manila Water Philippine Ventures Inc., signed a term loan agreement in the amount of PhP535 million with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). The proceeds of the loan will be used to partially finance Clark Water’s Concession capital expenditure program.

Clark Water is the concessionaire of Clark Development Corp. under a 40-year contract for the construction, management, operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater facilities in the Clark Freeport Zone concession area.

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Metro Pacific Posts PhP15B Core Net Income in 2018

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) (PSE: MPI) has reported a 7% rise in consolidated core net income to PhP15.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018, mainly driven by: (i) an expanded power portfolio following further investment in Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc. in 2017; (ii) continuing traffic growth on all domestic roads; and (iii) steady volume growth coupled with inflation-linked tariff increases at Maynilad Water Service Inc.

Power accounted for PhP10.8 billion or 55% of net operating income; Tollroads contributed PhP4.4 billion or 23%; Water contributed PhP3.8 billion or 19%; the Hospitals Group provided PhP771 million or 4%; and the Rail, Logistics and Systems Group had a net loss of PhP248 million.

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Megaworld Corp. (PSE: MEG) has bagged a landmark deal with US-based WeWork for its first Philippine location of collaborative workspaces in Uptown Tower Three in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Covering two levels with a total gross floor area of 4,081 square meters, WeWork formally opened its operations in Uptown Bonifacio in February, following its launch of new locations in Vietnam and Malaysia late last year.

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PSBank Posts PhP2.7B Net Income in 2018

Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank, PSE: PSB), the thrift-banking arm of the Metrobank Group (PSE: MBT), increased its net income in 2018 to PhP2.7 billion. This translates to a return on equity of 11.4% and a return on asset of 1.2%. Net interest income of PhP11.3 billion is up 2.3% year-on-year.

“PSBank proactively responded to last year’s challenges brought about by higher interest rates and inflation by focusing on sales and improving on its operating efficiencies, without compromising its commitment in providing excellent customer service,” PSBank President Jose Vicente Alde said.

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