Philippine Stock Exchange

Villar stocks rally after TV frequencies granted; ABS-CBN tanks

Ralf Rivas
Villar stocks rally after TV frequencies granted; ABS-CBN tanks

TYCOON. Billionaire Manny Villar.

Manny Villar's Facebook page

Manny Villar has yet to comment on his plans for the TV frequencies previously held by ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Villar’s Vistamalls saw its stock price leap by as much as 48.4% on Wednesday, January 26, after documents leaked showing the billionaire managed to get two TV frequencies previously held by Lopez-owned ABS-CBN.

Vistamalls, formerly Starmalls, closed at P4.29 apiece, 17.86% higher than the previous day’s price.

Another Villar company, property developer Vista Land, saw its shares inch up by 1.4%.

Retailer AllHome initially saw its stock price jump at the open by almost 2%, but eventually lost 1.7% at the close.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) confirmed on Tuesday night, January 25, that Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting System (AMBS) has been awarded provisional authority to operate Channel 16, which was ABS-CBN’s digital TV frequency.

The NTC also issued AMBS a temporary permit “for simulcast purposes” over the analog Channel 2, effective January 6 until the analog shutoff in 2023.

Rappler has repeatedly sought comment from Villar, but his spokesperson has yet to respond to requests.

Meanwhile, shares of ABS-CBN tanked by 10.1%, becoming the biggest loser on Wednesday.

ABS-CBN’s stock price of P12.76 is already 22.6% lower than its 52-week high of P16.48.

The media giant has yet to issue a statement.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index closed 0.47% lower, as investors waited for the release of fourth quarter gross domestic product figures on Thursday, January 27. Foreign investors likewise stayed on the sidelines amid the ongoing bloodbath in stock markets and corporate earnings abroad. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.