Dennis Uy, Duterte's friend, creates P100-M mutual fund for gov't troops

MANILA, Philippines – In front of his friend President Rodrigo Duterte, Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy promised a P100-million mutual fund for Filipino soldiers and policemen.

The mutual fund dubbed "LIFE" is "envisioned to offer continuous financial security to soldiers and policemen as well as their families through sound investment practices and guidance programs."

Uy's offer of assistance comes as the death toll from the clashes in Marawi City breached the 500-mark, with 89 of the fatalities soldiers and policemen.

The businessman said more details of the mutual fund would later be released.

"It is fun to help the troops battling in Marawi. During these times, they need our support. The soldiers help protect our democracy. Hopefully, the private sector can support them also," Uy told reporters on the sidelines of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated's 10th listing anniversary in Makati City on Tuesday, July 11.

It was the first time in recent Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) history that a Philippine president graced a listing anniversary event. Uy was one of the major campaign contributors of Duterte in 2016.

Phoenix Petroleum is the first company from Davao City to join the PSE and the first independent oil company to go public after the passage of the Oil Deregulation Law in 2008.

Since its stock market debut in 2008, Phoenix Petroleum has been able to expand its retail network outside Mindanao and build the largest storage capacity among independent oil firms.

From its first 5 stations in Mindanao in 2005, Phoenix Petroleum now has more than 500 stations nationwide.

Shopping for deals

Since then, the company has moved to buy the liquefied petroleum gas business of Petronas Dagangan Berhad in the Philippines.

Phoenix Petroleum's board of directors last week approved the acquisition of Petronas Energy Philippines Incorporated (PEPI) and Duta Incorporated for $126.1 million (P6.40 billion).

Phoenix also opened its 9th oil terminal in Consolacion, Cebu to serve the growing demand of the shipping, transportation, and construction industries in the Visayas, among others.

For the next 3 years, Phoenix Petroleum chief finance officer Joseph John Ong said his company has allocated P8 billion for potential mergers and acquisitions.

"We have also earmarked P2 billion for organic growth, meaning build more stations, build more depots, and capacities," Ong told reporters on the sidelines of the listing anniversary.

He added that they are open to acquiring more companies in the oil and gas sector, but nothing has been firmed up yet. –