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Third telco comes roaring after duopoly in first salvo

/ 05:22 AM November 08, 2018

The local stock barometer slipped to the 7,000 mark on Wednesday, going against regional markets, as investors dumped incumbent telecom stocks at the conclusion of the race for the third telco slot.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 146.18 points or 2.04 percent to close at 7,033.93 as the third telco craze in the stock market ended while the Philippines reported a further widening of the trade deficit.

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Globe Telecom slid by 8.92 percent while PLDT fell by 5.64 percent as investors weighed in on the entry of a new competitor, particularly one perceived to be close to Malacañang.

“The main index closed lower again (Wednesday) as most investors focused on trading second-liners in anticipation of the third telco bidding documents submission,” said Christopher Mangun, head of research at Eagle Equities.

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He noted Globe and PLDT had taken major hits “as investors moved to companies that would challenge the current duopoly.”

Outside the PSEi, ISM and Chelsea Logistics, both controlled by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, defied the overall downturn and respectively rose by 35 percent and 28.59 percent in heavy volume. Uy’s group, in partnership with China Telecom, emerged as the lone qualified bidder for the third telco slot. PXP Energy, also recently affiliated with Uy, rose by 1.8 percent.

ISM was the day’s most actively traded company while Chelsea was the third most actively traded.

Meanwhile, the decline of the main index was led by the holding firm and services counters, which fell by close to 3 percent, respectively.

Total value turnover for the day was heavy at P46.5 billion. There were 165 decliners that edged out 38 advancers, while 41 stocks were unchanged.

Aside from the telco duopoly, investors also sold down shares of SM Investments, which lost 4.35 percent. Ayala Corp., BDO, LTG and Metrobank slipped.

Outside of PSEi stocks, notable decliners included Vulcan Mining, which slid by 47.39 percent, while MRC Allied lost 16.47 percent. Vulcan was supposed to be the backdoor-listing vehicle of third telco contender Dennis Uy of Pampanga, who controls Converge ICT. Pampanga’s Uy, which was supposed to partner with Korea Telecom, decided not to bid.

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