DFNN soars 41%; will be PH's first online casino operator (Wednesday, Dec 9)
Happy Wednesday, Barkada --
The PSE closed up 69 points to 7204 ▲1%.
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[NEWS] DFNN [DFNN 6.35 ▲41.43%] granted PH’s first online casino license, stock soars 41%... the license allows the PAGCOR-approved company to develop and operate online casino games. DFNN said that the online casino would “only available to VIP players who must meet strict eligibility and registration procedures,” and would help in “regenerating revenues for the government”.
MB:PAGCOR has repeatedly tried to pitch “gaming” generally as the government’s cure to the cash crunch problem caused by its COVID-depressed tax income. I doubt it needed more than three slides in its pitch deck to government to get approval for the new license type. The government aches for income to replace what’s been lost. Investors and traders liked the news, in part because the complete surprise of the announcement allowed there to be a steep gap-up in the price (that’s always fun), but also because the license acts as something of a temporary monopoly for DFNN in terms of online gaming. There’s no word yet whether PAGCOR intends to license other gaming outfits to operate similar online casinos, but I’d bet that Dennis Uy and Enrique Razon are more than a little interested to join in on the fun, considering how poorly their profit puppies have performed through the pandemic. Especially if the license type will expand beyond the initial restriction to domestic bets only.
[NEWS] PH Resorts [PHR 3.00 ▼0.99%] halted for an hour after issuance of shares to Udenna Corp disclosed... the Dennis Uy-owned integrated casino/resort developer disclosed that it sold 1,686,309,523 common shares from its unissued capital stock to Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp for P2.8bn (P1.68/share). The PSE halted the stock for one hour under the “additional listing” rule. That lede was buried in a press release that was supposedly about PHR “topping off” the two towers at its Emerald Bay facility.
MB:The follow-on offering that PHR conducted a month ago sold 450m shares at the same price, but this transaction is significantly larger. When the FOO dropped, Dennis Uy said: “At the offer price, investors will be given a good opportunity to get in early at attractive valuation levels.” He was really talking about himself, and about the private placement sale to Udenna that was to come. This transaction dilutes everyone materially, including the FOO buyers that diluted the previous shareholders.
[NEWS] Mergermarket reporting Indonesian coffee chain looking for JV partner in PH... Kopi Kenangan is Indonesia’s fastest growing coffee chain, and it’s fresh off of a Sequoia Capital India-led Series B investment round that netted it a US$109m warchest for expansion. The coffee chain reportedly prefers a Philippine “family-led conglomerate”, both for the conglomerate’s deep pockets but also its experience in the domestic retail sector. Kopi Kenangan is looking to co-locate its stores in buildings with a strong BPO presence.
MB:Looking for a family-led conglomerate with deep pockets is like shooting fish in a barrel in the Philippines. Kopi Kenangan is going to be able to run a beauty pageant to maximize the value of its potential JV. This store concept is not exactly like a convenience store (more like Luckin Coffee, actually), but it does serve some of the low-cost goodies (coffee, milk tea, snacks) that convenience stores like Seven-11 [SEVN 110.70 ▲4.43%], Ministop [RRHI 68.70 ▲0.51%], and Family Mart [PNX 12.74 ▼0.31%] use to lure customers in for repeated visits. That’s not exactly Kopi’s DNA, though, as it’s building its name and brand off of “coffee on demand” that is ordered by an app and either picked up in a small-footprint shop, or delivered direct to consumer. It’s not clear what Kopi Kenangan’s end-goal strategy is, whether it wants to be a stand-alone brand under the Kopi Kenangan flag here in the PH with its own locations, or whether it’s willing to be a branded component of a conglomerate’s overall offering, like “Ministop, with coffee by Kopi Kenangan”; either way, this is an indication that our convenience and coffee store market is heating up.
[NEWS] Metro Pacific Investments [MPI 4.55 0.00%] buys 20% of Philippine Tank Storage International (PTSI)... the purchase was part of a larger deal that saw Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT) and MPI together acquire 100% of PTSI’s stock for US$333.8m. According to Mergermarket, PTSI owns the Philippine Coastal Storage & Pipeline Corporation (PCSPC), which is “the largest petroleum products import storage facility in the Philippines”. KIT and MPI purchased PTSI from the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI). PTSI’s storage capacity includes three “tank farms” and one marine terminal area, all within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
MB:There are no comments from the MPI side of the deal yet, but KIT is on record saying that this is a “strategic” acquisition to strengthen its distributable cash flow (the money that the company uses to declare dividends). KIT says the investment will help it “capture the expected growth in demand for petroleum products in [the Philippines].” I assume MPI’s reasons for entering the deal are substantially similar.
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@Reuters: RT @Breakingviews: Las Vegas Sands may sell U.S. assets for $6 billion, which it can use to build its footprint in faster-growing Asia. @KatrinaHamlin explains how the $37 billion casino operator could use the cash for deals – and debts. https://t.co/7lrDe0Pz29 https://t.co/L7bS1dUuud
@Reuters: From @Breakingviews: Las Vegas Sands may sell U.S. assets for $6 billion, which it can use to build its footprint in fast-growing Asia. @KatrinaHamlin explains how the $37 billion casino operator could use the cash for deals – and debts https://t.co/4eucxD4pnx https://t.co/GH75wFaRvI
@Reuters: From @Breakingviews: Casino operator Crown Resorts is under investigation in Australia over Chinese high-rollers and a busted stake sale to Melco. The inquiries may force billionaire founder James Packer to rethink his ownership, says @KatrinaHamlin https://t.co/JkEzFH68ls
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