Foreign asset managers acquire stocks in AbaCore

ABACORE Capital Holdings, Inc. on Monday announced that New-York based brokerage firm and investment bank Auerbach Grayson & Co. placed a block of stock in the listed holding firm with major foreign institutional asset managers.

In a media release, a representative of AbaCore said the investment was made due to several factors such as its “robust expansion plans that will increase the company’s bottom line and boost shareholders’ return on their investments.”

It also noted that AbaCore’s stock has more room for growth due to its price being “undervalued” relative to its book value.

AbaCore did not disclose the amount or details of the transaction. It also did not identify the seller’s identity except to say that the asset managers are based in North America and Europe.

The firm tapped WeCap, Inc., a boutique advisory firm based in Manila, to represent the sellers in the deal.

“We are pleased to work with Auerbach Grayson in this transaction. WeCap is grateful for the opportunity to advise clients in directing their investments towards companies that have successfully demonstrated long-term growth potential,” WeCap Chief Executive Job M. Ambrosio said in the press release.

In quoted David Grayson, chief executive of Auerbach Grayson, as saying: “We have been doing business in the Philippines market for almost 30 years and despite world events, we continue to see interest and opportunity in the Philippines as its economy continues to grow, We are uniquely positioned to work with WeCap as our firm knows the market well and we specialize in dealing in non-US companies.”

Earlier this year, AbaCore said that it was pursuing ventures with business partners across multiple sectors.

The company had signed a coal exploration agreement with Oriental Vision Mining Philippines, Inc. (ORVI). Under the agreement, ORVI will conduct exploration work on three coal blocks from AbaCore in Surigao del Sur.

The company is also developing an energy hub that covers 103 hectares in Batangas. It also sold land to a subsidiary of A. Brown Co., Inc. for the development of a liquefied natural gas facility.

AbaCore has businesses involved in coal and gold mining, financial services, leasing of gaming equipment, and real estate.

The release described Auerbach Grayson as building its global network “by establishing partnerships with local and regional brokers and banks in emerging, frontier and developed markets worldwide, with analysts in every region.”

It also said the firm provides US institutional investors with trade execution and in-depth local equity research from its local partners.

In the first half of the year, AbaCore incurred an attributable net loss of P10.84 million, reversing a net income of P86.82 million in the same period last year.

At the stock exchange on Monday, AbaCore shares declined by 2.16% or P0.05 to close at P2.26 apiece. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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