Privatisation pays off

Issue 

Privatisation pays off

By John Queripel

MANILA — Philippine government-owned oil company Petron was recently privatised. If you've ever thought a government-owned company was underpriced when privatised, here was your example par excellence.

Priced at 9 pesos (50 cents), the shares the day they were floated climbed to 21 pesos. Not a bad pay-off for a day's "work". However, not too many ordinary Filipinos were in on the pay-off, because Petron executives had pocketed most of the shares before they saw the light of day of the market.

One executive's greed didn't pay off. He was gunned down by a member of the Alex Boncayao Brigade in Makati, Metro Manila, in the middle of peak hour as he returned home.

The ones laughing the most are the Saudi Arabians, who picked up the shares at just 6 pesos each before they were subscribed. They're now priced at 27 pesos each.