PAGCOR’s New Guidelines on Junkets Call for Enhanced Due Diligence

PH Resorts Clarifies No Loan Default in Stock Exchange Disclosures

Udenna Corp is a Philippine conglomerate and some worrying debt default news headlines lead to steep drops in many of the involved companies. PSE disclosures were issued by four companies, in order to clarify the confusion, addressing a single online article in the original disclosure statement documents.

PSE Disclosures Clarify Default News

After multiple news stories citing a “debt default”, shares of the multitude of companies within the Philippine Udenna Corp saw steep drops, with Chelsea Logistics dropping almost 16%, DITO CME declining around 9%, PH Resorts seeing a 7.5% drop, and lastly – Phoenix Petroleum declined 6%. All four companies are owned by Dennis Uy, who is widely known as a supporter of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Clarification statements were issued by each company, however, the PH Resorts Group Holding, INC. (PHR) report, clearly stated that “there has been, in fact, no event of default or, at the very least, no irremediable event of default, under the Master Lease Agreement on the part of CGCC or GGDC.” This was published on the PSE EDGE (Philippines Stock Exchange Electronic Disclosure Generation Technology) system, and the SEC FORM 17-C was used to make the clarification statement. The document is C05496-2022, with a July 25 disclosure date as per the source.

CGCC – Clark Global City Corp, is a subsidiary of Udenna and a PH Resorts affiliate. GGDC – Global Gateway Development Corporation, is a subsidiary of CGCC. On July 22, CGCC received a default notice from a consortium of banks with majority lender BDO Unibank Inc. As per the initial reports, this was apparently misidentified as a default on the lending by the bank consortium. However, after the clarification, the default notice has been disputed, as it is now stated that the stated US$4 million liability is not a bank debt, but rather an internal obligation between GGDC and CIAC. It’s important to note that even though this is not a direct bank liability, a default on any debt can lead to mean a default in other liabilities under the existing loan terms, creating a domino effect.

The end date for sorting this out is July 27, and the four companies have stated they are working to “immediately resolve” the issue. Finishing the disclosure form, PHR states that “there should be no effect on the business, financial condition, and operations”

Conglomerate Facing Development Headaches

The debt is related to CGCC’s real estate development project and is only a bullet point in a list of more than a dozen undertakings the conglomerate has initiated during Uy’s debt-fueled expansion spree in the last six years. Projects have covered expanding into telecom, power, casinos, shipping, and more industries. All of this started during Duterte’s administration and Uy was a key financing figure in Duterte’s campaign to get there.

During the onset of the pandemic, however, that growth trajectory was heavily affected, with many ventures seeing inhibited growth and/or reduced or even stopped financing. Such was the case back in 2019 with the CFZ casino. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) received a request by PH Resorts for a temporary suspension of its provisional license for its property in Clark Global City, which Udenna is responsible for developing. The PH Travel and Leisure Corp unit, which is specifically tied to Clark Grand Leisure Corp, is expected to develop the Base Resort Hotel and Casino in Clark, Pampanga, again – with CGCC at the helm.