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San Miguel: government stake sale prospect

Philippines President Joseph Estrada has said a trust fund for the development of the nation“s coconut industry will be funded through the sale of the government“s 27% stake in food, beverages and p…

Philippines President Joseph Estrada has said a trust fund for the development of the nation“s coconut industry will be funded through the sale of the government“s 27% stake in food, beverages and packaging giant San Miguel Corporation (SMC). Finance minister Jose Pardo said the government expects to raise 50 billion pesos from the sale, which would, he said, be conducted through a public offer. The government seized a 47% stake in SMC in 1986 on suspicion that SMC chairman Eduardo Cojuangco had amassed it by using public funds allocated for the development of the coconut industry. Several groups have expressed interest in SMC but a provision in the company“s by-laws prohibits domestic competitors from participating, thus limiting the offer to foreign companies.

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