Alphaland to appeal delisting from PSE
MANILA, Philippines — The decision of the Philippine Stock Exchange to initiate a delisting process against Alphaland Corp. is “grossly unfair,” according to the legal counsel of businessman Roberto V. Ongpin who leads the property developer.
In a press statement on Thursday, Alphaland corporate secretary Rodolfo Ponferrada said the company intended to appeal the PSE’s decision.
Ongpin was in Italy as of Thursday and has not yet seen any of the PSE’s statements, he said.
Ponferrada said Alphaland has not yet been actually delisted but instead has been fined for late disclosure and slapped with additional one-month suspension of trading and the initiation of the delisting procedure. He claimed that the appeal process against the delisting action could “take many years to resolve.”
At the same time, Ponferrada said he has been disqualified as corporate information officer of the company.
The PSE announced on Wednesday that it had initiated delisting procedures on Alphaland, citing the property company’s violations of the listing and disclosure rules of the exchange.
Delisting is the maximum penalty imposed by the exchange on an erring company under its listing and disclosure rules.
“We deem our disclosure rules sacred in as much as we deem investor protection of primordial importance in the conduct of our duties as a regulator over listed companies. We take this role seriously and we expect only the strictest compliance to our rules by our listed companies,” PSE president Hans Sicat said.
The PSE cited as grounds for delisting Alphaland’s “repeated failure to submit full, fair, accurate and timely disclosures of material information.” The PSE said these violations occurred in the course of the disclosure of the alleged “simulated” sale of Alphaland shares between Ashmore group and Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd., cases involving the company, and its state of financial distress and its representation of its conduct of a stock rights offering which the property firm later described as a “minority offering.”
For the “minority offering” transaction, the PSE said Alphaland had also mentioned Unicapital Securities Inc. as its underwriter when, in fact, as Alphaland itself admitted, there was no signed agreement to confirm their engagement. Unicapital Securities categorically denied having participated and consented to the “minority offering.”
“The penalties and sanctions we are imposing are based on our rules but the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government bodies may conduct their own investigation and impose their own sanctions based on the provisions of the Securities Regulation Code and other laws as they deem fit,” Sicat explained.
In its notice, the PSE said the property company’s actions and representations showed a “pattern of deliberate, conscious and willful intent to mislead the exchange and the investing public.”
“Alphaland has been clearly found to have violated our disclosure rules. Investors are put to risk when companies do not follow our rules and it for this reason that we must at all times enforce these to maintain a fair and orderly market. The PSE would like to ensure the public that we are steadfast in the application of these rules and mindful always of the interest of the investing public,” Sicat added.
According to the PSE, Alphaland is entitled to a delisting hearing under the rules on delisting, provided a written request is filed within 15 working days from receipt of the decision.
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