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47 listed firms must sell more shares

/ 09:30 PM September 18, 2011

Forty-seven companies are racing against time to meet the 10-percent minimum public ownership required by the Philippine Stock Exchange to remain publicly listed and enjoy preferential tax on stock trades as the November 30 deadline draws near, based on a list obtained by the Inquirer.

Companies that fail to comply with the requirement will have 36 months more before facing trading suspension and eventual delisting from the PSE but they will have to pay monetary fines until then. Investors who will trade the shares of non-compliant companies after the deadline, however, will have to brace for higher taxes.

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The Bureau of Internal Revenue has indicated that it would slap the 5- to 10-percent capital gains tax on trading of shares issued by non-compliant companies simultaneous with the lapse of the PSE’s grace period. This means that investors will no longer enjoy the preferential tax rate of 1/2 of 1 percent of gross selling price if they are trading shares of non-compliant companies.

Some companies led by large groups like San Miguel, First Pacific, Lucio Tan, Ayala, Andrew Gotianun, George Ty, Henry Sy, Alfonso Yuchengco and Roberto Ongpin were among those with inadequate public float.

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The biggest companies in the list in terms of market capitalization are those led by diversifying San Miguel Corp. These companies and their respective percentage of public ownership are: Petron Corp. (7.5 percent), San Miguel Brewery Inc. (0.6 percent), San Miguel Pure Foods Co. Inc. (0.1 percent) and San Miguel Properties Inc. (0.1 percent), based on the PSE’s list.

Ayala-led Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc., which listed by way of introduction or without a public float last year, also falls short of the requirement with its public float of 9.7 percent.

Two companies led by the First Pacific group also fell below the requirement—PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures Inc. (0.5 percent) and Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (0.2 percent).

Within the group of tycoon Lucio Tan, several companies also need to improve their public float: Eton Properties Philippines Inc. (5.6 percent), Tanduay Holdings (2.9 percent), PAL Holdings (2.3 percent), Allied Banking Corp. (0).

Two companies led by former Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin—Alphaland Corp. (7.8 percent) and Atok Big Wedge Co. Inc. (4.2 percent)—also need to widen their public ownership to meet the 10-percent minimum requirement.

Other companies affiliated with taipans that need to address insufficient public ownership are: the Yuchengcos’ Bankard Inc. (8.3 percent); Gotianuns’ Filinvest Development Corp. (7.3 percent) and Tys’ First Metro Investment Corp. (1.9 percent).

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TAGS: companies, Markets and Exchanges, Philippines, PSE, public listing
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