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Number of listed firms below public float rule down to 12

Noncompliant companies face suspension

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07:46 PM December 23rd, 2012

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By: Doris C. Dumlao, December 23rd, 2012 07:46 PM

As more companies scrambled to comply with the 10-percent minimum public ownership required by the Philippine Stock Exchange, the number of noncompliant companies has gone down to a dozen during the final countdown to the yearend deadline.

In a PSE memorandum dated December 21, the local bourse said a total of only 12 listed companies remained non-compliant with the minimum public ownership (MPO) requirement. At the beginning of the year, there were more than 40 companies, which went down to 25 in early December.

“Selling by principal shareholders of their holdings to the public has resulted in increased compliance with the MPO requirement. This is consistent with the intent of the rule to put more shares in the hands of the investing public,” PSE president and chief executive Hans Sicat said in a statement.

“We have been receiving inquiries from investors on this issue and we continue to urge the investing public to remain watchful of developments on this matter,” Sicat added.

The PSE listed the companies that have yet to meet the minimum public ownership requirement as of Friday along with their respective public float levels: Alphaland Corp. (8.03 percent), Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp. (6.79 percent), Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc. (2.41 percent), PAL Holdings Inc. (2.3 percent), Allied Banking Corp. convertible preferred (1.51 percent), Maybank ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp. (0.89 percent), San Miguel Brewery Inc. (0.61 percent), PNOC Exploration Corp. (0.21 percent) and San Miguel Properties Inc. (0.06 percent).

On the other hand, three non-compliant companies have already suspended stock market trading—Philcomsat Holdings Corp., Cosmos Bottling Corp. and Nextstage Inc.

Last week, the companies that announced deals that made them compliant with the PSE’s requirement were Atok Big Wedge Co., Synergy Grid and Development, 2GO Group, Integrated Microelectronics Inc., SPC Power Corp. and LTG Inc.

The PSE’s minimum public ownership rule aims to provide a fair and efficient facility for price discovery and to ensure that sufficient liquidity exists in the stock market.

Immediately after Dec. 31, 2012, the PSE will impose a trading suspension on the shares of non-compliant listed companies for a period of not more than six months or until June 30, 2013. If after June 30, 2013, a listed company remains non-compliant, the listed company’s shares will be delisted.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue, as contained in its recent issuance relating to the minimum public ownership rules, will impose a capital gains tax and a documentary stamp tax (DST) on every sale, barter, exchange or other disposition after Dec. 31 of shares of listed companies that are not compliant with the requirement.

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