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Philippine Stocks: Aboitiz Equity, Nickel Asia, Union Bank

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in Philippine trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of the close in Manila.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 1.6 percent to 4,897.65, extending this month’s advance to 4.6 percent, a third straight month of gains.

GMA Network Inc. (GMA7 PM), the nation’s second-largest broadcaster, increased 2.1 percent to 9.60 pesos, the sharpest gain since Feb. 22. GMA Chairman Felipe Gozon said he will “seriously consider” any offer to buy his stake in the broadcaster “if the price is right.” Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Chairman Manuel Pangilinan has “always been interested” in GMA Network, Gozon said.

Nickel Asia Corp. (NIKL PM), the nation’s biggest producer of the metal, advanced 3.8 percent to 23.45 pesos, the sharpest gain since Dec. 8. Chairman Manuel Zamora and six other executives exercised their options to buy shares in the company, a stock-exchange filing showed.

Philex Mining Corp. (PX PM), the nation’s biggest metals producer, rose 2.8 percent to 22.20 pesos, the steepest gain since Jan. 26. The company’s profit rose to 5.77 billion pesos ($135 million) last year, from 3.96 billion pesos in 2010, shareholder First Pacific Co. said in a stock-exchange filing in Hong Kong.

Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP PM) climbed 6.8 percent to 111.10 pesos, snapping a two-day, 23 percent retreat. The bank set the date that shareholders will be entitled to the record 3 peso-a-share dividend it will pay in April. Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV PM), Union Bank’s largest shareholder, advanced 2.6 percent to 47.70 pesos, the first gain in three days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Sayson in Manila at isayson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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