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Landbank pursues bid to acquire fixed-income trading firm

/ 05:46 AM February 24, 2018

As it prepares to launch a rival bid to take over Philippine Dealing Systems Holdings Corp. (PDS Group), the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it would seek exemptive relief from regulatory limits on exchange ownership.

The SEC, for its part, welcomes a “healthy” competition between Landbank and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), a long-time suitor of PDS Group that wants to unify the country’s capital market infrastructure to be more competitive in the global financial market landscape.

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“I was also surprised by the move of Landbank but in the capital markets, especially when it comes to the functions like providing a platform for the exchange of stocks and fixed income securities, there are really a lot of public interest involved and the more parties there are interested to go into this business, the better for us. It’s always better for the competitive environment,” SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa said during a forum on Friday.

“So when the Landbank posed a challenge to the PSE regarding the sale of PDS or exchange for fixed income, it will signify, I think, healthy competition among our businesses in the Philippines,” she added.

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PDS is the holding firm for fixed-income trading platform Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp., Philippine Depositary and Trust Corp. and Philippine Securities Settlement Corp.

“At this point, for me it’s more business issue, who can bid higher,” she said

The SEC noted that the PSE has had a lot of hurdles to overcome in its plan to acquire PDS as the securities law states that no single industry can exceed 20-percent ownership in an operating exchange.

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