San Miguel eyeing gov't infrastructure plans

Reuters

Posted at Oct 18 2010 09:31 AM | Updated as of Oct 18 2010 09:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp wants to bid for public-private partnerships (PPP) for infrastructure projects as well as state power assets that will be put on sale, its president said, the Malaya reported.

Ramon Ang also said the company welcomed partner Qatar Telecom QSC's (Qtel) interest in raising its stake in Liberty Telecoms to 40%.

"Forty percent is no problem. We are good friends. The sheik, I respect him very much," Ang told reporters, the paper reported.

Qtel holds 32.7% of Liberty and San Miguel, one of the Philippines' oldest conglomerates, holds 33%. Liberty, which was a dormant listed firm prior to Qtel and San Miguel's investment last year, focuses on wireless broadband services.

San Miguel, which has been diversifying into heavy industry, wants to expand its presence in the infrastructure and power sectors by bidding for the government's PPP projects and power assets that will be put on the auction bloc, Ang said.

Last month, the government identified 10 priority PPP projects, including seven worth nearly P128 billion ($3 billion), and the government has said the plan would be launched next month.

"If government sells, we will definitely join the bidding," Ang said. "We are on the lookout for any good opportunity. The company is very liquid. It has a very strong cash flow. All diversification we engaged in were very successful."