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/ 08:40 PM December 29, 2013

Beefing up CMIC

Corporate regulators are in talks to beef up the Capital Market Integrity Corp. (CMIC), the market regulation unit of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

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CMIC is now headed by Cornelio Hizon, a lawyer and a former Finance undersecretary when Jose Isidro Camacho was the country’s Finance chief. Hizon is a tax expert and had briefly served as acting International Revenue commissioner in 2002.

PSE president Hans Sicat said discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission were under way to increase CMIC’s board composition from five to seven members. “The main change there is to have market-savvy board directors so there’s some balance in terms of the views of the board, and not just an academic exercise. That will enhance the work of the CMIC,” Sicat said.

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For Sicat, the proposed board reinforcement “completes the picture” for the CMIC board, combining “very independent and very smart” academic folks with those with market expertise. (How else can it catch the stock market manipulators and insider traders, huh?)

CMIC was created in 2012 as independent entity authorized by the SEC to operate as a self-regulatory organization. It was created to oversee the behavior of market participants and to be responsible for market surveillance. It is a separate and independent company from the PSE, governed by independent directors. It reports directly to the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission.  Doris C. Dumlao

Speaking of which …

A former chief of the Philippine Stock Exchange has also joined the market reform and accountability bandwagon that is sweeping through the local bourse.

Former PSE president Francis Lim was recently elected chief of the group called SharePhil, which stands for Shareholders Association of the Philippines.

Formed last year, the group aims to serve as the formal advocate of the rights of minority shareholders in the local capital markets.

Lim—who was at loggerheads with the board of directors of the PSE when he left the post some years ago —said SharePhil would play a key role in obtaining important information about listed firms,  which would allow their minority stockholders to make better investment decisions.

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In absolute terms, the minority shareholders remain a … well … a minority in the local bourse, accounting for only 5.9 percent of total outstanding listed shares as of last year.

Lim (who is also a senior partner at the Accra law firm) wants to change this and increase the number of retail investors participating in the stock market.

In fact, he already has a buzzword for his platform as SharePhil president. In his recent acceptance speech, Lim said his program can be encapsulated in the acronym “BE FAIR”.

“B” stands for “broaden” the membership base. “E” stands for “enter” into strategic partnerships with relevant institutions, like the PSE, Trust Officers Association of the Philippines (TOAP) and Fund Managers Association of the Philippines (FMAP).

“F” is for “foster” pro-shareholder reforms. “A” stands for “access to (stock market) services”;

“I” stands for “institutionalization” of an investor education program, and, lastly, “R” stands for “rolling out” the group’s roadmap.

Nice. Now comes the real challenge: Implementation. Daxim L. Lucas

Best analysts, brokers

CLSA was again cited as the best brokerage for research, sales, sales trading and execution in the Philippines in Asiamoney’s 24th annual Brokers Poll 2013. CLSA won “Best Overall Country Research” for the fourth consecutive year and CLSA head of Philippine research Alfred Dy kept his title as the “Best Analyst” in the country.

CLSA Philippines country head, Mitzi de Dios, said the awards were a testament to the firm’s “independent and uncompromised research” as well as the “unparalleled” sales and execution service committed to clients. “Our priority is to offer our clients the absolute best in accurate analysis and unrivalled service, and we are committed to upholding the exceptional standards which they have come to expect from CLSA. I look forward to continuing this momentum into 2014,” De Dios said.

Other top analysts in the country based on Asiamoney’s poll are Jody Santiago of UBS (second) and Hazel Tañedo also of CLSA (3rd).

CLSA Philippines also again won the categories for Best Overall Sales Services, Best Overall Execution and Best Sales Trading for the sixth consecutive year. CLSA’s head of Philippines sales Alex Dauz kept his title as the “Best Salesperson” in the country for the third year in a row. Other winners in this category are Robby Go of UBS (second place) and Mitzi de Dios also of CLSA (third place). Doris C. Dumlao

Shell at 100

The Shell group of companies is about to join an exclusive club of corporations that have been serving the local market for at least a century.

Indeed, Shell in the Philippines will turn 100 years old next year. But its products have been on local shores for even longer than that, according to company officials. The first record of Shell products being offloaded at the port of Manila was in 1897 when distinctive red tins were unloaded at the dock and transported to a warehouse on the Pasig River’s north bank. From there, they were distributed to Chinese retailers who then sold them to consumers.

By January 1914, Shell established its corporate presence in the Philippines with a staff of six—a number that has grown to 4,000 nationwide today.

The company’s kerosene also powered Manila’s first street lamps, we’re told.

Today, Shell is one of the country’s biggest corporations, helping meet the energy demands of the country’s growing economy.

Speaking to employees recently, Shell country chair Edgar Chua said he wanted the firm to be one of the most innovative and competitive energy companies in the world.

Who knows? We may even see the company undertake that long-delayed initial public offering soon. Daxim L. Lucas

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TAGS: analysts, Biz Buzz, brokers, Business, Capital Market Integrity Corp., clsa, cmic, column, Cornelio hizon, Francis Lim, PSE, Shareholders Association of the Philippines, SharePHIL, shell group of companies
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