Ashmore denies Ongpin's fake sale allegations

By Coco Alcuaz, ANC

Posted at Jan 22 2014 08:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2014 04:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines – UK fund Ashmore group has denied allegations made by former trade minister Roberto Ongpin's allegation that it engineered a fake sale of Alphaland Corp. shares last year to fool regulators into thinking the company met minimum public ownership rules.

In an email, an Ashmore spokesperson said it really sold a 2.5 percent stake to Credit Suisse, and has no power to tell Credit Suisse to keep or sell them.

“There is nothing preventing or requiring a sale of the shares by Credit Suisse at any time. Any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate,” Ashmore said.

Alphaland, which made the allegation on Monday, on Wednesday said it filed a complaint against two Ashmore executives with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the alleged deception.

This is the first word from Ashmore confirming Ongpin's statements that there's a rift between him and the London-based fund manager, which at least one politician said is a front for former President Gloria Arroyo's husband Mike Arroyo.

Ongpin and Arroyo have denied that allegation.

This week as well, Ongpin said he's gained majority control over Alphaland after Ashmore declined to join him in putting more money into the property developer.