A bad name

NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL - Margaret Jao-Grey  () - August 18, 2005 - 12:00am
Did you know 1: The country’s two richest men – Lucio Tan and Henry Sy –are actually good friends.

Why, Mr. Sy has never missed any of the anniversary celebrations of Mr. Tan’s many companies. Okay, okay, so Mr. Tan hasn’t returned the favor by attending the opening of any SM mall. Then again, it seems an SM mall opens every quarter in some part or other of the country.
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Did you know 2: Philippine Savings Bank president Pascual Garcia III has been very aggressive in the car loans segment.

The credit requirements are still stringent but the loan terms – from the minimum down payment to the number of years it will take to repay the loan – are quite generous.
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Among insurance companies with pre-need plans, possibly only two – these are The Philippine-American Life and General Insurance Co. headed by Jose Cuisia Jr. and the PrudentiaLife group controlled by Francisco Alba – are big enough to come to the rescue to any of several seriously bleeding pre-need companies with open-ended plans.

Then again, both companies are said to be interested only if government comes in (read: they have to be able to make money from such a deal). Now, that’s going to involve one serious haircut. One financially-troubled pre-need company, for example, is said to have debts worth P70 billion vis-a-vis investments whose value are at only between 20 percent and 30 percent of their current value.
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BMW Phils. Corp. president Joerg Breuer is pretty excited about a new platform that allows Filipino technicians to work with BMW dealers abroad under an exchange program.

The logic here is to keep the expertise within BMW’s global network while giving qualified Filipinos a chance to earn in dollars.

Of course, this implies the Philippine company has in place a continuous hiring and training program.
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GlaxoSmithKline’s Philippine head Amado Tadena isn’t exactly popular within the pharmaceutical industry. Blame it on the company’s Value Health project, which has been around for the past five years or so.

Under this project, the company has dropped the prices of GSK drugs with lapsed patents to the level of generic drugs. That, of course, doesn’t make generic drug companies very happy.

On the part of foreign drug companies (of which Anglo-American GSK is part of), this project has been giving them a bad name since, well, they refuse to follow suit and reduce their margins.

GSK locally distributes about 80 different drugs, of which close to 25 percent have lapsed patents. Oh yes, the company has seen an increase in the sales of these drugs with lapsed patents.

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