JAKARTA - First Pacific Company Limited, business arm owned by Salim Group conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong, plans to invest US$502 million or equal to Rp4.9 trillion in the infrastructure sector in the three countries, namely Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar.
The investment funds will be taken from rights issue worth US$502 million. New shares offered are up to 491 million shares at HK$ 8.10, with a 30% discount from the closing price in Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Monday (5/27).
The rights issue proceeds will also be used to strengthen the company's balance sheet and fund the a series of acquisition over similar business units. With the investment plan, the conglomerate led by Anthony Salim is practically active to expand its operations in the Southeast Asian region.
"Controlling shareholder has committed to invest or paid-in for 213.4 million shares, or 43.5% of total new shares to be issued," said First Pacific Chief Executive Officer Manuel Pangilinan, as reported by Bloomberg, on Tuesday (5/28).
First Pacific’ assets per December 30, 2012 was around US$8.67 billion. The conglomerate group which was established by late Soedono Salim is one of the largest business groups in Southeast Asia, with the distribution of portfolios ranging from telecommunications, infrastructure, consumer goods, and natural resources.
In the Philippines, First Pacific has a 25.6% stake in PLDT, telephone operator in the Philippines and the New York Stock Exchange.
The Company is also controlling 59.1% stake in Metro Pacific Investments Co. for the infrastructure segment. In mine, First Pacific has a 31.3% stake in Philex Mining Corporation.
In Indonesia, First Pacific has a 50.1% stake in PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk. Indofood has subsidiaries namely PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk (ICBP), PT Salim Ivomas Pramata Tbk (SIMP), and PT PP London Sumatra Indonesia Tbk (LSIP).
David Sutyanto, an analyst at PT First Asia Capital First Pacific, views the expansion in a number of developing countries in Southeast Asia is a strategic step, citing Bisnis Indonesia.
Moreover, Southeast Asia is excluded from projection regarding the correction of global economic growth index.
Myanmar, for example, will be the country with the most rapid development in infrastructure sector after political and social crisis as happened in Indonesia in 1998. Success in Thailand and Vietnam will also continue with the success of First Pacific in the Philippines.
First Pacific has developed infrastructure business in the Philippines. A number of strategic projects have been annexed by the Company, such as acquiring First Philippine Infrastructure Inc.