1. Business and General Information
Vantage Equities, Inc. (the “Corporation”), formerly iVantage Corporation, was incorporated in 20 October 1992 and is organized as an investment and financial holding company. It has authorized capital stock of One Billion Nine Hundred Million Pesos (P1,900,000,000), all of which are in common shares with a par value of P1.00 per share. Of the authorized capital stock, 1,788,312,570 are outstanding and 111,687,430 remain unsubscribed. On 12 January 2009, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the increase of authorized capital stock of the Corporation to Two Billion Two Hundred Fifty Million Pesos P2,250,000,000.00. Furthermore, the SEC has authorized the Corporation to issue 447,078,142 common shares out of its authorized but unissued capital stock to cover the twenty five percent (25%) stock divident declared by the Corporation’s Board of Directors on 4 June 2008 and ratified by its shareholders on 27 June 2008. As of 31 March 2012, the Corporation has an authorized capital stock of Two Billion Two Hundred FiftyMillion Pesos (P2,250,000,000) dividend into 2,250,000,000 common shares with par value of P1.00 per share. Out of the authorized capital stock, 2,235,390,633 shares are issued, of which 135,599,500 shares are in treasury.
The Croporation reverted to its original name by majority vote of the Board of Directors in November 2007, which the Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently approved in April 2008. The change in corporate name is consistent with the Company’s re-alignment of its investment focus towards the broad financial sector vis-a-vis its information technology focus during the ealry 2000′s.
The Company was originally organized with the primary purpose of oil and gas exploration, and investments and developments as among its secondary purposes. On 3 October 2000, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the change in the Corporation’s primary purpose to financial holdings and investments, including but not limited to information technology companies and related ventures. Since the Registrant is an investment holding company, it is not competing in terms of sales and is not dependent upon a single customer or a few customers. Also, it needs no government approval of principal products or services and no cost and effect compliance with environmental laws.
In June 2006, the Corporation divested its shareholdings in International Exchange Bank (“iBank”), its largest single investment at that time. The iBank sale generated P2.9 billion in cash and a P1.6 billion gain, capping an 11-year investment period that yielded a 16% compound annual return. The PSE Index, by comparison, only broke even during the same period. The divestment was timely in light of the substantial decline in financial markets in the following years.
The Corporation decided to invest its P2.9 billion “war chest” in portfolio of equity and fixed-income securities. The mandate is to attain above market returns while adhering to prudent risk parameters, i.e. credit, liquidity and market risk. For this purpose, the Company hired its current President in October 2006 along with a team of finance professionals. The current team is also tasked to further professionalize management of the Vantage Group of Companies.
The operating subsidiaries that comprise the Vantage Group are the following:
e-Business Services, Inc. (“eBiz”) - 100% ownership
eBiz traces its beginnings as the first Asia-Pacific direct agent of Western Union, an International money transfer service provider. Aside from money transfer services, eBiz also offers Philequity Mutual Funds, eLoad, Bayad Center bills payment center and Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and FETA ticketing services. Starting from just 3 service centers in 1999, eBiz today operates 160 branches located in major cities and hubs throughout the country.
The company-owned branches are complemented by a network of sub-agents that effectively enables eBiz to extend its geographic reach to over 1,500 locations nationwide. eBiz agent-partners include some of the biggest commercial banks, supermarket chains and pawnshops in the country. Because of its reach and service excellence, eBiz hit over 5.7 million transactions worth in excess of USD 1.2 billion in 2013.
eBiz Financial – 100% ownership
eBiz Financial is wholly owned by e-Business. eBiz Financial was incorporated on 11 April 2005 and started commercial operations on 9 May 2005. eBiz Financial is engaged in financing business.
iCurrencies – 100% ownership
iCurrencies, Inc. was incorporated on 3 February 2000 and started commercial operations on 31 May 2000. iCurrencies is organized primarily to engage in the business of buying and selling of foreign currencies.
In May 2001, the iCurrencies effectively stopped its business of buying and selling currencies as a result of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 264, issued on 26 October 2000. Among others, the new circular required additional documentation for sale of foreign currencies and required Foreign Exchange Corporations (FxCorps) to have a minimum paid-up capital of P50.0 million.
The Circular effectively aligned the regulations under which FxCorps are to operate to that of banks. To avoid duplication and direct competition with its previous major stockholder, iCurrencies decided to stop its business of buying and selling foreign currencies. The stockholders likewise decided not to increase its paid-up capital.
In the meantime, iCurrencies is sustained by income on its investments and interest income on its funds while awaiting for regulatory changes.
Philequity Balanced Fund, Inc. – 100% ownership
The Fund is engaged in selling its capital to the public and investing the proceeds in diversified portfolio of peso-denominated fixed-income and equity securities. As of 31 Decmeber 2013, the Fund has not yet launched its capital shares to the public.
Philequity Foreign Currency Fixed Income, inc. – 100% ownership
The Fund is engaged in selling its capital to the public and investing the proceeds in diversified portfolio of foreign currency denominated fixed-income securities. As of 31 December 2013, the Fund has not yet launched its capital shared to the public.
Philequity Dividend Yield Fund, Inc. – 100% ownership
The Fund is engaged in selling its capital to the public and investing the proceeds in diversified portfolio of equity securities. As of 31 December 2013, the Fund has not yet launched its capital shared to the public.
Philequity Management, Inc. (“PEMI”) – 51% ownership
Philequity Management, Inc. (PEMI) is an investment management company established in 1993. PEMI is proud to be the investment manager and principal distributor of Philequity Fund, Inc. (PEFI), the Philippines’ best performing equity mutual fund. PEFI has been awarded by the Philippine Investment Funds Association (PIFA) as the best performing equity fund in the 10-year category, 2nd place in the 3 and 5-year categories. Philequity Peso Bond Fund, Inc. (PPBF) was also recognized by PIFA garnering 2nd place in the 5-year return category. Likewise, Philequity Dollar Income Fund, Inc. (PDIF) earned 1st place in the 5-year return category.