Catholic Church has billions invested in BPI, Philex, San Miguel

Catholic Church has billions invested in BPI, Philex, San Miguel
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For most of us, it’s a given that the Catholic Church is rich. Obvious proof of that are their sprawling acres of land, large Church-owned structures and buildings, and millions of pesos of cash collected from mass goers every week.

What a lot of people do not know, though, is that part of the Church’s wealth is its multi-billion peso investments in several Philippine companies. In fact, reports submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) show that the Church and affiliate Catholic groups are top stockholders in companies such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philex Mining Corporation (PX), San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Ayala Corporation (AC), and Phinma Corporation (PHN), among others.

Philippine Church invested in banks, mining, construction, etc.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, for example, owns more than 300 million shares of BPI and is the bank’s 4th largest owner.

How much are these shares worth? As of May 2011, this is valued at more than P17 billion. Yes, that’s seventeen billion pesos, with a B.

Interestingly, aside from banking, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila (RCAM), together with its subsidiary hospitals and companies, is also invested in mining and construction.

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As of March 31, 2011, the RCAM is the 15th top shareholder of Philex Mining Corporation (PX), the country’s largest mining firm. It owns 3.2 million shares of PX currently worth more than P66 million.

(Update August 22, 2011: Did the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila sell all its Philex shares to Manny Pangilinan?)

RCAM is also an investor in Concrete Aggregates Corp. (CA), a supplier of construction materials such as processed aggregates, ready mix concrete and crushed sand. Its investment in CA is currently valued at around P4.5 million.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila is not the only diocese invested in Philippine stocks. Other dioceses with significant stock investments include:

  • Roman Catholic Bishop of Tuguegarao, Cagayan – owns 856,639 shares of SMC worth P94 million
  • Roman Catholic Bishop of Nueva Segovia de Vigan – owns 428,067 shares of SMC worth P47 million
  • Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jaro, Iloilo – owns 491,385 shares of BPI worth a total of P28 million
  • Roman Catholic Bishop of Tuguegarao, Cagayan – owns 24,015 shares of Ayala Corp worth P9.3 million

Affiliate Catholic groups also have huge investments in Philippine companies. More than P500 million pesos worth of San Miguel Corp (SMC)‘s shares, for example, are owned by three (3) Catholic groups:

  • El Superior de la Corporacion Filipina de Padres Agustinos Recoletos – 2.37 million shares worth P260.7 million
  • Superior de la Corporacion Archicofradia de N.P.J.N de Recoletos – 1.23 million shares worth P136 million
  • Carmel of the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague, Inc. – 957,000 shares worth P105 million

All this talk of the wealth of the Church is merely the tip of the iceberg since our compilation only includes the Church’s investments in PSE-traded firms. We do not know how much more is invested in private entities, in companies outside the Philippines, in bonds, in time deposit accounts, or in real estate properties.

Church should play more active role in educating its flock about finances

We understand that the Church has to invest money in various assets, including equities, in order to finance and sustain itself. This is actually good since this shows how financially-literate the Church is.

Here at PinoyMoneyTalk, our only call is for the Church to take an active role not just in shaping the morality of its flock but also in developing a more practical and productive attitude towards money and finance.

The weekly Sunday sermons should, therefore, include not just lessons about being morally upright. The Church should also convince mass goers to work and pursue livelihood and to not simply leave their fate to God (“Ipagpasa-Diyos niyo ang lahat ng inyong mga problema.”).

The Church should educate its people about the value of earning, saving, and investing money and should not condone Catholics who are already content in life even if they are penniless (“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”).

More importantly, we urge the Catholic Church to play a more pivotal and proactive role in helping solve the ills of the country. The billions of pesos of investments (as seen in the table below) can go a long way in uplifting the lives of poor Filipino people who, admittedly, form the critical mass of supporters of the Catholic Church.

Yes, the Church is already doing its share by running hospitals and orphanages, by providing assistance to those who come to them for help, and by offering moral guidance. But with billions of pesos worth of assets that can even surpass the assets of the Philippine government, they can do more and should do more.

They owe it to the millions of Filipinos who donate their hard-earned cash every Sunday to the Church that religiously invests in stocks.

Stock Investments of Catholic Church and affiliate Catholic Groups

Diocese / Church Foundation Company # Shares Owned Rank in Top 100 Total Investment Value
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 222,843,681 4th PHP12.724 Billion
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (REAL CASA DE MISERICORDIA) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 41,408,841 8th PHP2.364 Billion
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA (HOSPITAL DE SAN JUAN DE DIOS) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 22,072,182 13th PHP1.26 Billion
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (HOSPICIO DE SAN JOSE) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 6,016,624 15th PHP343.55 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (HOSP DE SA JUAN DE DIOS) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 4,285,572 17th PHP244.71 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (MAYORDOMIA DELA CATEDRAL) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 2,664,266 21st PHP152.13 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (ST. PAUL`S HOSPITAL) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 1,772,418 26th PHP101.21 Million
CARMEL OF THE DIVINE INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE, INC. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 726,819 49th PHP41.50 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF JARO Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 491,385 64th PHP28.06 Million
CARMEL OF THE DIVINE INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE, INC. San Miguel Corp (SMC) 957,516 79th PHP105.33 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TUGUEGARAO San Miguel Corp (SMC) 856,639 81st PHP94.23 Million
CARMEL OF ST THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS San Miguel Corp (SMC) 592,956 91st PHP65.23 Million
THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS OF CEBU San Miguel Corp (SMC) 451,864 95th PHP49.71 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Philex Mining Corp (PX) 3,221,135 15th PHP66.68 Million
RELIGIOUS OF THE VIRGIN MARY - B Philex Mining Corp (PX) 3,125,777 16th PHP64.70 Million
RELIGIOUS OF THE VIRGIN MARY-A Philex Mining Corp (PX) 1,091,027 69th PHP22.58 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TUGUEGARAO Ayala Corporation (AC) 24,015 73rd PHP9.29 Million
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILS, INC. Ayala Corporation Preferred Shares - A (ACPA) 60,000 2nd PHP31.80 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TAGBILARAN Ayala Corporation Preferred Shares - B (ACPR) 10,000 64th PHP1.02 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 78,846 9th PHP3.47 Million
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (HOSPICIO DE SAN JOSE) Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 1,898 66th PHP83,512
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA ISM Communications (ISM) 38,399 48th PHP126,333
SOCIETY OF THE DIVINE WORD Filipino Fund Inc. (FFI) 6,000 24th PHP48,000
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF BANGUED Filipino Fund Inc. (FFI) 1,500 49th PHP12,000
CATHOLIC WOMENS LEAGUE Benguet Corp. - A (BC) 215 53rd PHP4,107

* Rank in Top 100 – rank in the Top 100 Stockholders of the Company, a report submitted by the company to the PSE

** Total Investment Value – peso value of total shares owned, as of May 27, 2011 closing prices

Source: Company reports submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange

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  • Poch Suzara

    The filthy wealth of our corrupt and rotten politicians in the government is peanuts compared to the filthy wealth of the Catholic bishops in the Philippines. Poch Suzara

  • Prince

    malinaw na nanloloko ang simbahang katolika, kinukwartahan lang ang mga taong bayan…. can you imagine magkano ang collection ng simbahan sa isang araw sa isang bayan sa isang misa… dati ang misa ay tuwing linggo lamang ngayon halos all days of the week may misa at ilang misa ang hini-held nila sa isang araw, ilang simbahan mayroon sa isang bayan, dito sa amin ay may simbahan sa lahat ng sulok and i mean kasama pati mga kapilya… so do the math… tapos tuwing mayroong tinatawag nilang na birthday ng isang santo nanghihingi ng donation sa mga estudiyante ng catholic school… huh??!!! wise at corrupt ng mga pari ng katoliko… satanas sa imahe ng isang maamong tupa… come on wake up people… hindi lang government natin ang nagnanakaw sa atin pati din ang simbahan…. pag nag-enroll ka sa catholic school di pwedeng walang religion subject at pag bumagsak ka sa religion subject.. di ka ga-GRADUATE… huh???!!! pag ipinanganak ka.. bayad ka sa kanila para sa binyag at kumpil… pag nag-asawa ka bayad ka ulit sa kanila… pag namatay kay bayad ka ulit sa kanila…. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.. pero ang taong bayan ipinagtatanggol ang ganitong gawain ng simbahang katolika kahit na harap harapan na silang niloloko… LOL…. ang gobyerno ba sinisingil ng simbahang katolika ng buwis… HINDEEEEE… kaya taong bayan gumising kayo… ang DIYOS ay nakikinig sa mga dasal natin ng walang bayad…. at hindi rin sinabi ng DIYOS na magbayad kayo pag ipinanganak kayo at maging kasapi ng simbahan… pag ikinasal kayo at namatay…. basahin nyo sa BIBLIA….. walang ganitong policy o utos ang DIYOS…..

  • noname anonymous

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit” does not mean what the article says it means. It means blessed are those who realise that God is the ultimate provider of everything – wisdom, wealth etc. (whether they are wealthy, or whether they are poor). It is God who decides whether all the work you do will bear fruit or not. The Bible also says words to the effect that he who has will be given more, but for he who doesn’t, even what he has will be taken away. But the proper interpretation of this is that, he who realises that all he has comes from God will be given more; but for he who doesn’t realise that what he has comes from God, what he has will be taken away.
    The Catholic church does not tell people not to work; it teaches that work was created for man; that man must work in order to survive and live – this is found in the book of Genesis when, after Adam and Eve sin by disobeying God, God tells Adam that he will have to toil hard to make the earth produce (He also tells Eve that He will increase her pain in childbearing).
    The assets of the church may or may not surpass those of the Philippine government, but either way there are about 1 billion catholics worldwide. And when you divide all the assets up amongst those 1 billion people, it probably doesn’t amount to much per person. Rather, I think you should look at the assets of the United States alone and then compare those to the assets of the Roman Catholic church and you will see that, by comparison, the church is not wealthy. It has just about enough to support its activities. Bear in mind that the core function of the church is to provide priests and churches (not to provide hospitals etc. – these are extra things that it takes on). Giving to the poor is something that every Roman Catholic is supposed to do personally (in addition to making his contribution to the upkeep of the church itself).
    But it is a good thing that people should enquire as to exactly how the funds they give to the church are being applied. They may be quite surprised that the church cannot really actually do much more (as the article says it can), than it is doing now. In fact, it is really the Philippine Government that can do much more than it actually does now. Do people inquire as to how their hard earned taxes (which are compulsory, as opposed to the voluntary contributions made to the church) are being spent? How much accountability do Philippinos demand from their government (at the time when the church was helping the poor etc., Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were draining the country dry and people were celebrating them and cheering them on). For instance is there proper justice in the Philippines or is it rough, arbitrary justice, like in much of the developing world? How much control do the Philippine people (including the poor amongst them) have over their government?. These are the really important questions.

    • Jasha Gutierrez

      The church makes just enough to keep its bishop filthy rich. Setting aside economic talk, the church’s main goal from the start is not only spread the word of God but to help the children of God. We have seen them talk the talk. They are great at that but it’s as if their responsibility ends their.

      Based on Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) 7 July 2011 records, their
      holdings in corporations are now worth a whopping
      P18,040,238,371.80. You say it’s small but to country this small and desperate it is almost too much. And That is about $400million dollars That is way higher than the GDP (Nominal) than the top 10 Economic Power countries combined like Europe, Usa, China, Japan, UK, Canada, France and Brazel combined ( THIS IS IN PHILIPPINES ALONE! If the church is really pro-poor, then there are many things they can do with that money. Build up homeless shelter, more orphanage that entertains anyone. What other church ‘activities, pray tell, would warrant such amount of money? Those money were funded by the pocket of the people. They gave it to the church expecting the same things they had expected from the government before it failed them. And now, because of too many secrecy about the expenditures of the church, it’s happening right before their eyes and they don’t even know it. It’s like what you said, the Marcos were draining the country and the people cheered. The case is so similar to that of the church.

      Think, use your imagination, what they could do with that amount of money. These ‘pro-poor’ billionaire bishops, with expensive cars to what? use to drive around to spread the words of God and telling the poor that they are blessed while they alone can’t live humble lives and preach in humble churches to help the people in need.

      You say ‘important’ question but you should know that there is never just one important question. There are many questions out there that needs just as much urgency as the corruptions of our government. It’s time to accept that the church is one of them. Don’t let your religiousness fool you. Didn’t God himself say ‘Give to Ceacar what is for Ceacar’. The moral compass of the church has gone astray. Like everything else that holds power in this country.

      If you want proof here:

      Let’s think.

    • noname anonymous

      The GDP of the USA alone is about 12 trillion dollars. The 400 million dollars, that the Philippino Catholic Church is said to own is not anywhere near this.
      Secondly if the Church is managing its resources well that is to its credit and it should not be blamed because the government has not managed its resources well. It is the responsibility of the public, not the church, to ensure that the government is managing its finances and other resources properly.
      The failure of the Philipinno government and therefore its people is not the fault of the Catholic Church. Complain and take action against your government not against the Church that is innocent.

  • jereco

    Sa tagal na ng Catholic sa Pilipinas cguro naman tama lang na makaipon ng malaki. The Catholic Church is not asking a 10% na abuloy sa simbahan. Halos 90% ng nang nagsisimba di nagaabot ng aboloy. kadalasan pa ng nagbibigay coins. Kaya ito ganagawa ng Simbahan to finance ng mga project nila.

  • Alex Simeon Lagas

    it is not the inc, catholic, but all the religious organizations that involves business investments. have u know that religion is a big business? if u want to be rich and known, why not create a religion? religious denominations are free from tax….

  • Emman Lopez

    Chito Dimaranan;

    Of course, true to form, the R media outfit again comes out with a stale story that asks a question that has long been answered ad nauseam. “How much money does the Catholic Church have?” Again, too, true to form, all the anti-Church bashers come out in full force from the woodwork’s seconding the motion and throwing in their even more stale and lame arguments against the Church. The lowest form of intelligence is contradiction, and coming out with a story that begs all the questions, in my book, is even lower. Why, these writers who call themselves journalists whose best obras are nothing but a pack of innuendoes based on ill-digested questionable “data” and produce not solid journalism but propaganda, are nothing less than despicable.

    These are some things I would like at least my friends to know …

    1) The Catholic Church is monolithic only in terms of dogma and moral issues, and in the way it runs its own internal affairs, its governance. There is no central financial institution that “owns” the assets that really belong to the people who comprise the particular churches called dioceses. Therefore, to talk about the “riches” of the Catholic Church is not the same as talking about assets owned by multinational firms like Shell, Enron, Microsoft, Apple, and countless others. Whilst the Church at large owns assets like the buildings and works of art found in the Vatican, said assets are not translatable to cold cash, for one simple reason … they are a patrimony of the human family as a whole. The Church safeguards it, but in the name of the whole human family. No single Pope owned it solo. No single cardinal can do with it what he wants.

    2) Every diocesan Bishop is sovereign in his own diocese. Whilst every diocese, again, owns assets, those same assets are just in the name of the corporation sole which is the Diocesan Bishop. Some dioceses are relatively well-to-do, but not rich. Most are poor and struggling, especially those in the rural areas.

    3) It is stupid to count the buildings owned by religious orders and congregations and diocesan clergy in their schools, hospitals, orphanages and other mostly charitable institutions as “riches” at least in the way the world defines them. They are assets alright on paper, but they cannot be liquidated without doing immense and incalculable harm to the dependents they feed, clothe, and house, and/or educate or heal in clinics and hospitals. I speak for my own congregation. We have buildings and assets, and not one of them belongs to anyone of us. Again, they belong to the “corporation” that is the congregation, and we cannot sell those assets for pure personal gain without doing harm to the mission we do as educators.

    4) Those who continue to harp on the number of hospitals that they impute mistakenly to the “Church” and interpret them as worldly assets do not have the faintest understanding of religious life and religious culture and its life of mission. The Church does NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT build hospitals in the same way and motivation that MVP would build one. When businessmen build a hospital, that is called investment, meant to be for profit. But the shallow blanket condemnation of the Church building hospitals and schools for profit, show the utter ignorance of these haters and bashers of the issue of MISSION which is not equivalent to the token CSR (corporate social responsibility) of most for profit companies. When we religious and diocesan clergy build hospitals and schools, they are not primarily for profit, but to create legitimate sustainable works to be able to help those who otherwise cannot afford to pay for them. These propagandists and ignoramuses who love to perorate against the Catholic Church but gloss over other religious groups show nothing but their bias or hatred against the biggest charitable institution in the world.

    It only means one thing … Their aim is really not to find out the truth and expose it, but to expose their own preconceived truth and their own brand of truth to mislead, and to sow doubt and confusion in the unsuspecting minds of people who take everything such fake journalists say, hook, line and sinker.

    I notice one thing though … Those who comment in favor of what the fake journalist online journal called R are regularly reporting (almost on schedule, and timed for maximum readership on certain occasions), are most likely the same people, using the same stale arguments, designed not to ferret out truth or contribute to the search for truth, but to foster anger and defiance against the hand that probably fed them. (Yes, many were and are recipients of the largesse of the Church, but either without them knowing or they simply deny them). The negative comments are done by people, who, in the first place, already have an axe to grind against the Church for reasons best known to themselves. And they simply love to come out of the woodworks on occasions like now, when the Church occupies center stage in the hearts and minds of people, with the impending visit of the Pope.

    N.B. Incidentally, I write from a school that has no assets to speak of, liquid or non-liquid. These ignoramuses always say we charge high tuition fees, but they never bother to ask how much of that goes to personnel and operations. To survive, I had, and still have to beg the help of Catholic friends who have the wherewithal and the know-how to help us keep afloat. And yes, we priests and brothers who run the school do not live off the non-existent fat of the land, but by the sweat of our brow, very literally, yes … including washing our own clothes and cooking our own meals on occasion, for one simple reason … we cannot afford personnel especially on holidays that are getting more and more by the year. I have no reason to complain, but I do have reason to rant against fake journalists like those of R who seem to be overfocused on their imaginative “riches” of the Catholic Church. Now, if they do real research, not based on hunches, they might want to tell us where those riches are, apart from the usual, stale, and old arguments like the paintings of Michelangelo and the few buildings in the tiny state called the Vatican.

    This is meant, not as a rebuttal against people who already made up their mind, but for friends who, on account of such lies and misleading articles, are getting confused.

  • Fernando Vilale

    Billion with the B but the currency is Peso not $, how much is 17 billion worth, an airbus worth.

  • kleng

    OMG last Friday BPI closed at P92.10/share so 300million shares translate to 27.630BIllion!