FinanceAsia, a regional magazine on Asian financial markets, recently named Ayala Corporation as the Best Company in the Philippines in the Asia’s Best Companies 2002 survey. Ayala Corporation won the top spot in two categories: Overall Best Company and Company Most Committed to Corporate Governance.
The survey, which will be disclosed in full in the April issue of FinanceAsia magazine, was conducted among institutional investors and equity analysts from around the globe. It covers the performance of the top companies in 10 countries in Asia. In the Philippines, Ayala Corporation led as Overall Best Company, earning 50 out of 331 votes, or 15 percent of all votes. It was followed by San Miguel Corporation, which received 36 votes, and SM Prime Holdings, with 34 votes. Other companies in the Overall Best Company category were Jollibee Foods Corporation, Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), and Ayala Land.
Ayala Group companies figured prominently in all categories. Ayala Corp. ranked first in the category Company most committed to Corporate Governance with 61 votes, followed by PLDT with 25 votes. In the same category, BPI, Globe, and Ayala Land placed third, sixth, and eighth respectively. Ayala Corp., Globe, and BPI also ranked high in Best in Investor Relations.
Ayala Corp. was ranked second best in Best Financial Management, bested by San Miguel by only one vote. Other firms which rated highly were Globe, SM Prime, PLDT, BPI, Jollibee and Ayala Land, which tied with JG Summit in eighth place. Globe Telecom’s Delfin Gonzales was named Best Chief Financial Officer. Globe Telecom’s commitment to enhancing shareholder value was also recognized as third best among the country’s top companies. It was followed closely by Jollibee, Ayala Corp. and BPI.
Ayala Corporation recently announced a new strategy aimed at delivering increased shareholder value over the medium-term. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, president and CEO of Ayala Corp., explained that the company needs to be much more active in the management of its portfolio and that it needs to focus on building new businesses more aggressively. The company is potentially looking at structurally attractive industries in the Philippines where it feels it can achieve a position of leadership, as well as some select overseas exposure.
Explained Zobel: “We need to be much more active in how we manage our portfolio. We will not just hold businesses on an ‘as is’ basis. In this fast changing world, we will need to be prepared to constantly change our strategic stake in each of our existing businesses – bring in new partners, build regional and even global alliances, merge businesses with others. We need to be more open minded about how businesses evolve, more focused on value creation, and more prepared to forfeit control where doing so is best for the business.”
Zobel said this new strategy entails the creation of a new division within Ayala Corporation. Internally known as AC Capital, the new division has taken over responsibility for all domestic non-listed subsidiaries and will manage these businesses as a separate portfolio. AC Capital will be charged with finding new and creative ways for Ayala Corp. to create more value from each of these businesses and will also be the vehicle which will drive its new business building efforts.