'Closure order' from BIR sends Megaworld shares on a rollercoaster

Trading on the Philippine Stock Exchange Index on Tuesday left shares of the Tan-owned company to close up 2.94% at P2.8 apiece.
STAR/File

MANILA, Philippines — Megaworld Corp. said it has "resolved" with the Bureau of Internal Revenue concerns regarding a reported "closure order" against the company that rocked its stock price on Tuesday.

Shares in the listed property firm of billionaire Andrew Tan plummeted by over 9% before reversing those losses to close up 2.94%.

This came after BIR asked journalists on Tuesday to cover the “issuance of closure order against Megaworld” that would happen on Wednesday morning at Uptown Parade, a flagship project of Megaworld.

BIR officials were supposed to hold a press conference to discuss the order. A representative from the agency later told reporters that the news briefing has been postponed "until further notice.”

"We have an unexpected turn of events, Megaworld reps are here in the BIR and assuring us their full cooperation in complying with the requirements of the BIR,” the agency’s representative told reporters.

The BIR did not immediately respond to Philstar.com’s follow-up questions.

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In a statement, Megaworld said it sought clarification from BIR. The company has yet to respond to Philstar.com’s questions as of reporting.

“We have already reached out to the concerned BIR Regional Office, and the matter has been clarified and resolved,” Megaworld said. “Megaworld continues to fully support government’s revenues programs.”

Megaworld reported profits from January to March soared 30% year-on-year, as revenues hit P13.1 billion buoyed by double-digit growth in most of its segments despite the return of restrictions that eased by the latter part of the first quarter.

Its real estate arm reported sales in the first quarter grew 36% to P8.1 billion compared to its performance a year ago, while reservation sales rose to P23.2 billion.

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