PLDT challenges foreign ownership law ruling in Philippines

20 July 2011 |


Executives from PLDT have reportedly filed appeals against a Supreme Court ruling which redefines foreign ownership limits in the Philippines.

The ruling, which was passed last month, has redefined the calculation of the 40% foreign ownership cap for public utilities, a move which could leave the Filipino telco in breach of foreign ownership laws. Separate petitions were subsequently filed by PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan and PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno.

According to Reuters, Nazareno warned that the ruling could have a “very serious adverse repercussion for the partially nationalised industries affected, the Philippine capital market, the Philippine economy in general and the country as a whole”.

Foreign investors are reported to hold 64% of common shares in PLDT, which is partly owned by Japan's NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo. Following the Supreme Court ruling, PLDT has said it will be issuing preferred shares with voting rights to Filipino citizens, a move which could potentially lower its total foreign equity in expanded voting shares.

PLDT was also reported to have recently invested $55 million in the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) project, which will connect the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. The 7,200km cable will have a capacity of 40Gps and is expected to become operational in June 2012.

PLDT’s first vice president and head of carrier business Alejandro Caeg was recently featured in Capacity’s Big Interview (click here).