Nickel Asia Q1 profits tank 80% a year after GSIS’ Wick Veloso scooped up P1.5 billion shares in Manny Zamora firm

Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) of bilyonaryo Manny Zamora saw its net income plummet in the first three months due to the continued drop in nickel prices since 2023.

The sharp downturn in NAC’s financial performance comes a year after the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president and general manager proudly acquired P1.5 billion worth of shares in the country’s largest nickel ore producer.

NAC reported that its net income cratered 79 percent year-on-year to P202.4 million. However, the company’s financial performance wasn’t all bad news. A strong peso helped NAC book P136 million in foreign exchange gains, a significant turnaround from the P202 million loss it incurred in the previous year. This gain helped to mitigate the impact of the net income decline.

Its two nickel processing plants incurred a net loss of P194 million during the period, a reversal from the P252 million profit a year ago.

Revenues, mainly from the sale of ore from its Rio Tuba and Taganito mines, plunged 34 percent to P2.66 billion.

Nickel prices have collapsed to $18,900 per ton from $50,000 per ton in 2022, largely due to a surge in production in Indonesia, which now accounts for more than half of global output.

NAC is currently trading at P4 per share, which is 36 percent below Veloso’s purchase price of a two percent stake in the company at P6.25 per share in April last year.

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