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Meralco ownership a ‘non-issue’

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THERE are no issues about the ownership of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) that could hamper its franchise extension in the country, a congressman assured on Sunday

As far as Albay Rep. Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda is concerned, Meralco complied with foreign ownership regulations and the government also resolved its previous ownership issues with the firm.

“The ownership of Meralco is a non-issue,” Mr. Salceda told BusinessWorld in a Viber message. “Government ownership of Meralco has also long been resolved.”

Meralco has 63 million shares owned by foreigners or 5.59% of the total 1.1 billion shares of the electricity distribution company, it stated in its May foreign ownership disclosure. 

“Of 450 million shares that foreigners are allowed to own, Meralco has only 63 million shares actually owned by foreigners,” Mr. Salceda said. “It has been the long-held policy of past administrations not to undermine the 1986-1991 reviews of Meralco’s ownership, which gave the plurality of shares or 2% to the government.” 

The House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchise began its deliberations of renewing Meralco’s franchise in May, four years before it is set to expire. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio

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