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Philippines Stocks: Atlas, Benguet, Philippine National Bank

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in Philippine trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of the noon close in Manila.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 0.4 percent to 4,375.86.

Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development Corp. (AT PM) increased 2.6 percent to 23.80 pesos, the highest close based on prices going back to March 1992. SM Investments Corp. (SM PM), the investment holding company of billionaire Henry Sy, said it’s “an option” to increase its recent $142.2 million investment in Atlas.

Benguet Corp.’s Class A shares (BC PM), which only Filipinos can own, surged 11 percent to 22.70 pesos, the highest close since February 2008, after the metals producer said its nickel unit declared a cash dividend. Its B shares (BCB PM), available to local and overseas investors, climbed 14 percent to 23.30 pesos, the steepest gain since June 3. The board of Benguet’s nickel unit approved a cash dividend of 32 pesos a share, to be paid within the third quarter, the company said in a disclosure to the exchange today.

Philippine National Bank (PNB PM) sank 5 percent to 60.30 pesos, the sharpest loss since March 15. President Eugene Acevedo said he’s “seriously thinking of taking an entrepreneurship sabbatical” following a Philippine Daily Inquirer report that said he resigned. Acevedo said he could not make an official announcement until the lender’s board had taken up the matter.

San Miguel Corp. (SMC PM), the nation’s biggest food and drinks company, gained for a 10th day, advancing 1.7 percent to 132.20 pesos, the highest close since April 12. The company’s energy unit may raise about $500 million in an initial share sale planned later this year, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, citing President Ramon Ang. Ang hadn’t responded to text messages seeking comment.

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