Friday, 16 March 2012

Local Franchising Posts 17% Growth

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — The domestic franchising industry remains robust with a 17 percent growth, from $9.4 billion in 2010 to $11 billion in sales in 2011 as more Filipinos tried their hands at entrepreneurship.

Franchising comprises an estimated 30 percent of total retail sales in the Philippines. The industry registered a staggering 262 percent jump from year 2000 to 2011.

Samie Lim, chairman of Francorp Philippines, a member of the worldwide network of Francorp International, cited a report by Bloomberg, a premier business website, confirming that the Philippines is now the leading Asian Tiger Economy that is beating China's growth in franchising.

“Franchising has a high success rate. Filipinos believe in the system and once entrepreneurs put 100 percent of their attention to their business, the results are simply unimaginable,” Lim said.

Organized in 1997, Francorp Philippines is the premier and leading franchise developer in the country, with over 200 successful franchises developed or assisted at various stages of their growth.

Francorp, which has presence in 22 countries worldwide, has been rigorous and dynamic in guiding clients through the franchise process, as proven by hundreds of its successful clientele, many of which have become international phenomenon such as Jollibee, Max’s, Goldilock’s, Pancake House, PR Gaz, Island Souvenirs, Bench, Kamiseta, The Generics Pharmacy, Crystal Clear and hundreds more.

Francorp clients account for more than 25 percent of the total franchises in the Philippine market and works nationwide with about as many as 5,000 entrepreneurs a year through franchise seminars, events, media and other marketing activities.

It was also able to help increase the number of franchise brands from a little over 100 in 1997 when Francorp was founded, to 1,300 in 2011. Francorp launches an average of 20 new franchises yearly during franchise expos and can be credited for creating hundreds of successful franchises that generate millions of jobs for the economy.

The Philippines offers the most strategic place for expanding and investing in franchising, according to Lim.

“Consumer index is at an all-time high. This is highlighted by new investors’ confidence in the country. Would-be franchisees include OFWs and new entrepreneurs who need to be guided by a ‘big brother’ in ensuring that their venture is a success.”

To mark Francorp’s 15 year in the Philippines, two seminars will be held featuring Don Boroian, Francorp chairman and top authority on franchising, and Lim.

The seminar ‘’World’s Best Franchise Secrets from the Master’’ is slated on March 19, 1-5 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Ballroom Hotel in Ortigas Center, Pasig. Topics include ‘‘Franchising in the 21st Century: How the rules have changed business management tools;’’ “Franchise Trends Worth Watching,’’ ‘‘Building a National Franchise Network/ Chain’’ and ‘’Acquiring and Managing Multi-brands’’ etc. and the Hottest trends in global franchising.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Why the PSE has few investors

Business Mirror

THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) reached a historic high again yesterday. Our local stock market is one of the best performing in the world for 2012, up 15 percent. And it is almost common to find issues that are up in price by 25 percent and more. I am not talking about the speculative stocks. I am speaking of companies like Ayala Corp., which by definition is supposed to be boring and conservative. The less conservative companies have doubled in price.
Yesterday around the Twitter world were a few comments about why more Filipinos do not invest in the PSE and reap these bountiful rewards.

The truth is, unfortunately, Filipinos do not invest in the Philippine stock market for many of the same reasons that foreign money does not invest in the Philippines. Go with me on this and I think you will see what I mean, especially if you are currently a local stock investor.

It is difficult to do business.

We all know that the Philippines rates as one of the most unfriendly places on the planet to set up and run a business. This is nothing new. The Philippines’s global score has not improved much at all over the last 20 years. The nation’s motto should be “You want to do business? Fight harder in the Philippines.” It is not much easier to open a stock trading account for the PSE.

Securities and Exchange Commission rules must have been created before the invention of the personal computer and the Internet. A Filipino can open an account online to trade stocks, foreign currency, and commodities overseas, scan original identification documents and email them, and deposit trading funds. Opening an account with a PSE stockbroker requires several courier deliveries. Granted, the local stockbrokers do everything they can to facilitate this process but it is still old style when people actually used the post office and mailed documents.

You can go to a Pagcor casino or e-games facility, bet millions, and they do not even require identification.

If you are a balikbayan Filipino in another country who wants to invest on the PSE, plan on a month of correspondence.

It is a matter of education.

Most foreigners still do not have a clue about the Philippines and its opportunities. In truth, it was foreigners, not Filipinos, who sold the Philippines as an outsourcing destination to other foreigners. The new tourism slogan is not a slogan. It sounds more like a campaign promise.  “Exotic Thailand.” “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”  “Japan: Endless Discovery.” Those are slogans. Even the New York Stock Exchange has a slogan: “One Market. Infinite Possibilities.”

Yes, the PSE has tried its best to educate Filipinos about the stock market. But education is also about marketing your product. And the PSE does not market the stock market well at all.

The perception is that it is corrupt and crooked.

In the foreigners’ mind, the Philippines must be a very crooked country since the administration said that the only reason the country was poor was because of corruption. Maybe that is right. But that same perception runs in the stock market.

Trading on the PSE is not crooked or corrupt. However, there are some side issues that certainly give that impression. Can you always trust what every company says about their business prospects? Absolutely not!

One company throughout 2011 made disclosure after disclosure to the investing public through the PSE that were simply not true. The system requires that companies tell all. It does not validate if they are telling all the truth.

It is one thing to say that the PSE does not have responsibility to check every disclosure by every company for authenticity. However, when the PSE is informed with facts that a company has not been completely truthful or even downright lied, a statement should come from the PSE itself and sanctions be implemented. It is wrong not to do that.

We have a great wealth-creating mechanism called the stock market and a valuable institution called the PSE. It works properly. It is fair and honest. It is available to almost all people with extra money either through direct trading or mutual funds.

We have one of the lowest stock-market participation rates in the world and there is truly no excuse for that.

On a personal note, my half day Stock Trading Seminar will be on March 24th.

The content will focus on Stock Picking, Trading Techniques, and basic Technical Analysis to identify Trends and Price Points. The fee for the seminar will include snack, lunch and materials.

I will need your confirmed reservation no later than today, March 15, 2012. Sorry but this is your last chance. Please e-mail with your reservation.

E-mail to and Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical-analysis tools provided by, Inc.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Carpenter’s son tops 2012 PMA graduating class

Business Mirror
Read more:

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—A 21-year-old carpenter’s son in Barangay Tambo, Lipa City, graduates on March 18 as valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)  “Bagwis” Class of 2012, with President Aquino as the guest of honor and speaker.

First Class Cadet Tom V. Puertollano will receive 11 major awards, including the Presidential Saber and presidential academic excellence award.

How to beat the high cost of oil

Business Mirror 

THE concern about rising oil prices is justified. Prices for gasoline are high. Prices for LPG are high. Prices for diesel are high.

Global LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) prices are at historic highs. From in Australia: “The increase in the price of LP gas is a spike in the Saudi price for LPG, which is driven by major increases in demand.”

The in Pakistan writes, “Saudi Aramco Contract Price for LPG has surged to a record high.” South Korea is experiencing the same problem. The Chosunilbo newspaper says, “Drivers should brace for higher prices at the pump as international price of LPG hit a new record high.”

Welcome to the reality of the global energy situation.

But world LPG prices are about the same as one year ago when prices reached an historic high. In the Philippines though, LPG prices are up about 13 percent from March 2011.

However, here is the interesting situation about local gasoline prices and world crude oil prices.

In March 2011, the price of Brent crude oil was $112 per barrel. Now that same oil is selling for $129, an increase of 15 percent. In March 2011, according to the survey of the Philippine Department of Energy, unleaded gas in Metro Manila averaged P55 per liter. That same liter is P58 for an increase of 56 percent. Therefore, the price of unleaded in Metro Manila has not gone up as much as the global price of crude oil. Part of that is because the peso has appreciated 0.9 percent from March 2011 from 43.4 to 43 per US dollar.

If local gasoline had gone up as much as crude oil, the price should be over P60.

Nonetheless, we all know how increases in the price of fuel affects all Filipinos and more adversely on the lower economic groups.

The offered answer to high oil prices is to suspend the value-added tax on oil products. But this amounts to about P600 per Filipino. And if oil prices continue to go up, the only solution is for the Philippines to have its own domestic oil production.

There is a saying, “To gain something, you have to lose something.” In other words, trade-offs.

If we are going to produce Filipino crude oil, we need the money and expertise of foreign companies. That’s the way it is.

The government is going to have to walk a thin line between generating revenues from this business activity and allowing enough financial room for oil companies to make as much profit here as in other countries. Other laws must be comparable with other oil-producing nations also.

Some oil will come from the seas and accidents and mistakes will happen. Birds and fish may be endangered and there might be some environmental damage no matter how responsibly every one, the private sector and the government conduct this business.

Filipino oil may be found in the middle of Manila Bay and those oil rigs are not sightseeing attractions. But we need the cheaper oil.

Refineries will need to be built and they are big, noisy, ugly, can be dangerous, and smell terrible. But without them, if crude oil reaches historic high prices, more Filipinos will not be able to feed their families due to inflation.

Oil may be found in the rice fields of Nueva Ecija. But the total economic value of those lands is greater producing oil than rice. The oil will reduce the P600 billion annual import bill for foreign oil, leaving more money for social projects.

In the far-flung areas, the government must follow the Constitution and existing laws to allow indigenous people a voice and a share of the oil-production bounty.

However, the government owes it to the Filipino, especially the poorer Filipinos to embrace and advance this economic activity. There will be trade-offs but how could anyone disagree that the Philippines and the Filipino needs its oil wealth?

Except, there is no significant oil in the country.

But as the fifth most mineralized country in the world, there are huge amounts of copper, gold and nickel, and with this, the government could subsidize every liter of oil we buy.

On a personal note, because of numerous requests, I have decided to reduce the length of my Stock Trading Seminar to a half day rather than a full day. The date will be March 24th.

The content will focus on Stock Picking, Trading Techniques, and basic Technical Analysis to identify Trends and Price Points. With these changes, the fee for the seminar is reduced and will still include snack, lunch, materials, and your questions, lots of them.

Because of these changes, I will need your confirmed reservation no later than Thursday, March 15, 2012. Please e-mail with your reservation.

E-mail to and Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis tools provided by Inc.