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68 firms required to increase public float

Sixty eight listed companies must sell more shares to the public to comply with the planned imposition of a 20-percent minimum public ownership.

Securities and Exchange Commission director for market securities and regulations Vicente Graciano Felizmenio said in a presentation during a public consultation that 39 companies would be affected by the imposition of a 15-percent public float by end-2018, while 68 firms must comply with the 20-percent requirement by end-2020.

Among the listed companies whose public ownership are currently 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 if all 39 companies would comply with the 15-percent public float requirement by end-2018, a total of P37.23 billion worth of funds would be raised in the market, while another P112.5 billion would be raised by 68 listed companies by end-2020 to meet the 20-percent float.

The SEC said assuming that all affected companies decided to raise their public float to 20 percent by end-2018, a total of P130.1 billion would be raised from the stock market.

Felizmenio said the P130.1-billion capital raising could be easily absorbed by the market given the ample liquidity in the financial system. He said assets under management of mutual funds, insurance sector and unit investment trust funds now reached P1.24 trillion.

More funds would be available for investments with the proposed tax reform agenda of the Duterte administration.

Fund Managers Association of the Philippines board adviser Michael Ferrer expressed support to the move of the SEC to increase the minimum public ownership as this was seen to boost liquidity in the stock market.

The SEC issued draft rules on minimum public ownership on June 1, where companies would be given chance to gradually increase their public float to 15 percent by end-2018 and to 20 percent by 2020.    

The SEC said by increasing the public float of listed firms, companies would attract good-quality and long-term investors.

Listed companies that would not be able to meet the public ownership requirement face suspension or delisting.

Topics: listed companies , public ownership , public float , Securities and Exchange Commission , San Miguel Corp. , San Miguel Purefoods Co. Inc. , Filinvest Development Corp. , Eagle Cement Corp. , Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. , PAL Holdings Inc.
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