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PSE asked to rethink Calata’s delisting

Calata president Joseph Calata

Some small shareholders of Calata Corp. are asking the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to reconsider its plan to delist the agricultural products distributor, instead pleading for time to gain control of this company.

Austrian trader Alfred Reiterer, who represents small shareholders of Calata, said in a press conference on Friday that a lot of shareholders wanted to hire a new management to represent their interests in the company.

Reiterer’s group claims to have consolidated about 14 percent in voting rights comprising small shareholders, who make up about 60 percent of the company’s public float based on the latest count.

“Based on the number of shares that we have, we can actually vote in one director,” said George Tan, one of the minority shareholders.

“If we can get all minority shareholders, we can definitely vote for five or six directors,” he added.

Tan is also nominated by Reiterer to be one of the company’s directors.

Calata has six directors in its board, of which two are independent directors.

Asked whether a stockholders meeting is set to be organized soon, Tan said they were still in the process of gathering more stockholders to build a more formidable collective.

The local bourse, on the other hand, has not yet released any official statement regarding its board of director’s approval of Calata’s delisting.

On Monday last week, beleaguered Calata chair and founder Joseph Calata unveiled a plan to shift to a “cryptocurrency exchange” where Calata would issue digital tokens to its shareholders that would be called “Calcoins” in the cryptocurrency market.

Calata said that with this scheme – an alternative to being part of the PSE, Calcoins could be traded in six months and can be used to buy everyday commodities via online shopping.

Trading on shares of Calata had been suspended at the PSE since July this year.

A stock analyst however said that the “Calcoin” proposal would most likely be rejected by its shareholders given its unorthodox nature.

PNB Securities president Manuel Lisbona said that “for ‘Calcoins’ to have a value, it must be widely accepted as a form of payment to be readily convertible into other currency.”

“It will take years for that to happen if at all,” he said.

“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are great innovations but there are still a lot of experimentation and likely a lot of failures and losses,” he added.

Nonetheless, Calata said the company would push through its plan regardless of the shareholders’ decision.

The planned issuance of digital tokens to shareholders approximating their ownership of Calata stocks is seen similar to the popular Bitcoin which is known as the first recognized decentralized digital currency used for digital transactions.

“A digital token is similar to issuing a check in a digital form. The holder of the token has the right to claim the underlying asset,” Calata explained.

“Any transferrable asset such as a car, a house, a computer, or also intangible assets such as property rights and licenses, can be represented through digital tokens.”

Meanwhile, Tan said discussions among small shareholders suggested that the proposal would be rejected.

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