The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to impose a minimum public ownership requirement of 15 percent for all publicly listed companies by 2018 and 20 percent by 2020.
The SEC issued a draft memorandum increasing the new minimum public float requirement, subject to comments. Public float refers to the percentage of issued and outstanding shares held by general investors or the public.
It said increasing the minimum public float was in line with the thrust to promote the development of the Philippine capital market and encourage the widest participation of ownership in listed companies.
Among the listed companies with public ownership below 20 percent are San Miguel Corp., San Miguel Purefoods Co. Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., Eagle Cement Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and PAL Holdings Inc.
The SEC said listed companies that would not be able to meet the public ownership requirement would be suspended and/or their secondary licenses would be revoked as provided for under the Securities Regulation Code.
Under the draft rules, companies with existing registration statements with the SEC and whose shares are listed and traded in an exchange shall increase their public float to at least 15 percent on or before end-2018.
Companies shall further increase their public float to 20 percent by end-2020.
The draft rule also provides that all companies planning to conduct initial public offerings shall have a public float of at least 20 percent of companies’ issued and outstanding shares.
The SEC was planning to increase the public float requirement in a bid to boost liquidity in the stock The SEC imposed a 10-percent minimum public ownership for all listed companies in 2011, resulting in the voluntary delisting of several companies such as San Miguel Brewery Inc., San Miguel Properties Inc., Eton Properties Philippines Inc., Cosmos Bottling Corp., First Metro Investments Corp. and PLDT Communication and Energy Ventures Inc.