PLDT Forms Internet Holding Company

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) early this month announced the formation of ePLDT, a holding company that will manage PLDT's investments in the Internet, e-commerce and multimedia businesses.

PLDT, the country's dominant carrier, is reportedly positioning ePLDT to be listed in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Stock Exchange in the U.S.

PLDT president and chief executive officer Manny Pangilinan said ePLDT will manage a number of the company's various businesses, including Internet service provider Infocom Technologies and cable company Home Cable.

The new holding company, ePLDT, will also own and operate PLDT's 1.6 billion-peso (US$35.5 million) Internet Data Center, currently being developed with Sun Microsystems Philippines. BayanTrade, the joint online procurement venture by PLDT in partnership with JG Summit, Aboitiz Equity Venture, Ayala Corp., Benpres Holdings and United Laboratories, will also be transferred into ePLDT.

Pangilinan said that with the creation of ePLDT, the telecom company will now focus its business on three major groups -- fixed lines, wireless and e-commerce.

Earlier reports said PLDT was planning to list ePLDT at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Horace Lavides, PLDT media relations manager, however, said listing in the Nasdaq was not in the immediate plans of PLDT.

He added that ePLDT is still in the process of incorporation. By the end of this month, PLDT should be able to offer more concrete plans, he said.

-- With reports from the Philippine News Agency.

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