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Ayala Land, Inc. (AYAAF)

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0.67000.0000 (0.00%)
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Previous Close0.6700
Bid0.0000 x 0
Ask0.0000 x 0
Day's Range0.6700 - 0.6700
52 Week Range0.6200 - 0.7800
Avg. Volume8,408
Market Cap9.861B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.85
PE Ratio (TTM)67.00
EPS (TTM)0.0100
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.00 (0.42%)
Ex-Dividend DateMar 05, 2021
1y Target EstN/A
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    • Video Game Industry Rocked by Outpouring of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

      Video Game Industry Rocked by Outpouring of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

      (Bloomberg) -- Dozens of women took to social media over the past few days to outline explosive allegations against prominent men in the world of video gaming and streaming, setting the stage for what could be the beginning of a MeToo reckoning for the $150 billion video game industry.Four women leveled accusations of sexual misconduct against Chris Avellone, a critically acclaimed video game writer, leading one developer to end its cooperation with him and prompting him to part ways with another game in the works. A different woman accused Omeed Dariani, the chief executive officer of Online Performers Group, a talent agency that works with many video streamers, of making an unwelcome sexual overture. Dariani resigned from his position on Sunday. Some streamers began calling for a blackout Wednesday of Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch, the biggest game streaming platform, alleging that it turns a blind eye to misbehavior.The gaming industry has for years been criticized as unwelcoming—if not hostile—to women, but has not yet faced the  MeToo movement on the same scale as Hollywood and other industries. This week’s flurry of postings was unique in terms of its volume and public nature, and it has sent ripples across the industry. Accusations began appearing on Twitter late Friday night and each new post emboldened other women to publicly share their stories. Many of the postings about the men accused of misconduct were subsequently compiled in a thread on Medium.Some of the people identified in postings have denied wrongdoing, while others have apologized for their behavior. Many were not identified by their legal names, but by the names they are known by on social media.Dariani’s accuser said the CEO proposed that she join him and his wife for a sexual encounter. Dariani didn’t respond to requests for comment but said on Twitter that while he didn’t recall the conversation, he believed his accuser, Molly Fender Ayala. When asked for comment by Bloomberg News, she said her public post expresses everything she “feels comfortable with sharing at this time. My intention was to bring light to a larger issue in the gaming industry and hopefully protect young women who are entering the space.”  Twitch said it’s investigating reports of misconduct and that it “supports people coming forward.” Some of the most detailed allegations were brought against Avellone, who replied on Twitter to one of the women, Karissa, saying he “never meant any harm” to her or a friend of hers that he had dated. “If I can't do anything to apologize for it, I understand, and there's nothing more to be done.” Karissa, who spoke to Bloomberg News about her allegations, declined to give her last name for fear of harassment.Avellone, who has written for popular games such as Planescape: Torment and Fallout: New Vegas, was a founder and co-owner of the video game studio Obsidian Entertainment Inc. from 2003 until 2015. Since then, he has been a freelance designer and writer for games including Prey and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. His work as a writer has been lauded by fans and critics. Industry publication Game Developer magazine listed him as one of the field’s top writers in 2009.In interviews with Bloomberg News, two women shared similar but separate stories of Avellone buying a continuous stream of drinks for them and others at an event and then making unwanted sexual advances on the two women. One, Karissa, said it happened when she met Avellone at a convention one weekend in 2012; the second said it happened at an event in 2013. A third woman, who now works at a large video game company, posted on Twitter a screen shot of sexually explicit messages she said she had received from Avellone in 2013, when she was seeking to break into the industry. A fourth wrote on Twitter that Avellone had “groped me repeatedly” at a nightclub in 2014. Avellone didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian’s chief executive officer, declined to comment on Avellone.On Friday evening, Karissa accused Avellone of getting her “blackout drunk” and trying to sleep with her, calling him “an abusive, abrasive, conniving sexual predator” in a thread of messages on Twitter. After being contacted by Bloomberg, Karissa, who asked that her last name not be printed for fear of harassment, elaborated in a phone interview. She said she met Avellone through friends in the gaming industry at a convention in 2012. At the hotel bar, Karissa said, Avellone put down his Obsidian credit card and bought multiple rounds of drinks for attendees. “They were coming so quickly,” said Karissa. “It was almost like as soon as my drink was gone, Chris already had one or two more for me. I remember refusing him, just being like, ‘I'm good, I don't need another one.’ He would literally just be like, ‘Come on, let's go to the bar, let's get you another one.’ He did that multiple times throughout the night.”Karissa said the alcohol “all hit me at once,” and that she remembers walking back to her hotel room with Avellone and two of her friends. She said she vaguely remembers Avellone trying to kiss her on the way up, and kissing her again when they arrived at the hallway outside her room.  At one point, Avellone then put a hand down her pants, after which she told him to stop, Karissa said she remembers. “I told him this is not a good idea,” she said. “He stopped, then took his hand out of my pants. I think he kissed me one more time, and then left.” After that night, Karissa said she remained friendly with Avellone, and that he was “a perfect gentleman” the rest of the weekend, which “kind of pushed off what had happened in my head.” She said that their friendship ended after he had a difficult relationship with one of her other friends, and that it only occurred to her recently that something went wrong that night in 2012.“It actually didn't start to click with me until other women in the industry started coming forward with their stories, and seeing how similar they were to mine,” Karissa said, referring to the outpouring that began on Friday. She spoke up after seeing an interview with Avellone on the gaming website IGN for The Waylanders, a new video game he was helping write.One friend of Karissa, who asked not to be named because the person still works in the video game industry, confirmed to Bloomberg News that they heard the same story from Karissa about a month after it happened.  Christy Dena, a video game designer, said she and Avellone had been friendly for years when they met up at a convention in Melbourne in 2013. She went out drinking with him and a few other friends, she said in an interview, and he was “continuously buying drinks” for the group. “At every event we went to, he’d just put the company card down and buy everybody drinks,” Dena said.The two of them went back to her hotel room, Dena said, and that the next thing she remembers is waking up next to him with no clothes on. “I remember going back to the room, but then I don't remember much of what happened in the room at all,” she said. “And then just waking up in the morning. He said, ‘Oh, we didn't do anything,’ but of course my clothes were off.”Dena said she kept in touch with Avellone but wasn’t interested in pursuing any sort of relationship with him. She chose to speak up after seeing Karissa’s accusations. “When Karissa put the post out, and I read things she said, I thought, ‘Oh, this is a pattern of behavior,’” Dena said. “It wasn't just me.”She has stopped drinking as a result of this and other uncomfortable incidents involving other men at video game industry events. “It's one of those things it took me a very long time to learn,” Dena said. “People are not in a consenting state when they're drunk.”In rare instances over the past three years, accusations have emerged against powerful men, including a depiction of a culture of sexism at Riot Games, Inc. and a sexual assault allegation against a former top developer at Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s Rockstar Games, the maker of Grand Theft Auto. (Three weeks after the article’s publication in online gaming magazine Kotaku in 2018, Riot Games said it had "much to improve" and that it would overhaul many of its practices. Rockstar Games declined to comment on the allegations raised in the story published last year and the executive accused denied the allegations.)On Saturday night, Jacqui Collins, a public relations representative for Riot Games, shared a screenshot of sexually explicit text messages from Avellone on Twitter. “This was before I was full time in the games industry, but knew I wanted a future in it and was actively working towards that,” she wrote. “Chris was one of the ‘industry greats’ I was frankly flattered to even know let alone be friendly with. So I forgave and regularly asked him career advice.”The women’s accusations have had real-world implications for Avellone. Techland Sp., a Polish game developer, said Monday on Twitter that it planned to stop working with Avellone, who was part of the narrative team for the company's next game, Dying Light 2. And Emily Grace Buck, the lead writer of The Waylanders, has since said Avellone is no longer on the project and that she would “take an extra look” at his work.Other companies have also said they plan to investigate accounts this week. Video game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment SA. said it was “deeply concerned” by sexual misconduct allegations against some of its employees, according to Gamasutra. Insomniac Games, Inc., the Sony-owned developer of the Spider-Man video games, said it was also investigating a former employee’s allegations of sexual misconduct.(Updates to add other companies making investigations into allegations in final paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    • Duterte’s Media Assault Will Exact a Price

      Duterte’s Media Assault Will Exact a Price

      (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The libel conviction for the head of a Philippine news outlet known for its scrutiny of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration is a blow to one of Asia’s most vibrant media sectors. It’s also the sort of headline that’s often overlooked by foreign executives and fund managers casting around for fast-growing economies. They would be wrong to gloss over this one.Duterte’s rule has already seen institutions eroded and top-level opponents targeted. If fewer questions are asked, that will reduce transparency and drive up the risk premium for investing in the Philippines. That’s something the coronavirus-weakened economy can ill afford when inbound investment is already falling.The case against Maria Ressa — whose Rappler site has been directly denounced by the president and often critical of his war on drugs — was always about more than the allegedly defamatory article on a local businessman, first published in 2012. The verdict, similarly, has ripples far beyond the online publication.Monday’s conviction is no isolated incident. Ressa and her co-accused, Reynaldo Santos, were sentenced to as long as six years in jail, but she faces seven other criminal charges including for alleged tax evasion. There’s more. A month ago, the country’s largest broadcaster, ABS-CBN Corp., shut TV and radio stations after its license wasn’t renewed — a move repeatedly threatened by Duterte, reportedly because of a disagreement over paid election campaign commercials. Opponents elsewhere, from the human rights commission to the Supreme Court, have fared little better. Meanwhile, lawmakers passed an anti-terrorism bill this month that, while targeting a real problem, could also allow worryingly lengthy detentions without charge.The presidential spokesman says Duterte upholds free speech and played no role in the Ressa verdict. That should offer little comfort to investors, or to a local population facing the deepest economic contraction in decades. Indeed, it suggests weakened institutions are carrying out the president’s whims without needing to be told. The target is one of the country’s best-known journalists, at home and abroad. Ressa was honored by Time in 2018. With other governments behaving badly, there is little reason to hold back.To be clear, Duterte isn’t the first occupant of the Malacanang presidential palace to castigate the press, or indeed other institutions, since the end of martial law in the 1980s. While free and outspoken by the region’s standards, the Philippines has also had high rates of violence against journalists. The difference is in what Nicole Curato of the University of Canberra describes as the normalization of attacks on the press, and the sheer volume of vitriol released through spokespeople, political allies, and on social media. Worse, it is done with the language of democracy. At least in openly authoritarian states, as Ressa said Monday, the rules are clear.The economic context is grim. While the Philippines is young, promising and has been an outperformer in terms of headline expansion, its economy remains highly concentrated, unequal and opaque. Foreign direct investment and local stocks were fading even before the pandemic, despite infrastructure spending plans and tax reform efforts. After the coronavirus, an economy that had been projected to expand 7% this year will instead contract. Unemployment and underemployment are high and remittances, which account for about 10% of gross domestic product, have dropped.Ressa’s verdict brings more reasons for concern.The first is the increasingly arbitrary nature of the attacks, in part because of the disparate coalition behind Duterte vying for favor. This leaves investors vulnerable, says Aries Arugay, professor of political science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Duterte triggered a more than $2 billion stock rout in December after targeting the Ayala family and another local businessman,  demanding the renegotiation of contracts with two concessionaires, Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services Inc., to supply the capital. Companies such as Fraport AG and Suez SA left the Philippines over just such disputes.While the old guard is under fire, a new, Duterte-friendly oligarchy is being created, tilting an already uneven playing field. Aaron Connelly, research fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, points to telecoms as an example of the change: Duterte ally Dennis Uy, with China Telecom Corp., won the country’s third telecoms license in 2018. Partner risk has always been a problem in Southeast Asia, but the shift away from Manila elites is making this less predictable.Lastly, there’s the issue of transparency. The simple act of questioning authority, deals and negotiations is becoming more challenging. It could get worse still if, as Arugay posits, the current purge fosters the flourishing of partisan Duterte-friendly media. The Manila Times closed in 1999 after running afoul of then-President Joseph Estrada, only to be bought by one of his close associates.Duterte’s enduring popular support, and a term that doesn’t end until 2022, create room for plenty more lasting damage. Investors could do worse than to ponder Ressa’s words after her conviction: This is a precipice. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.