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PSEi weighed down by banks, Converge shares

/ 04:30 AM May 25, 2022

Philippine shares extended losses on Tuesday as the benchmark measure was weighed down by large banks and the exit of the US private equity investor at fiber internet giant Converge ICT Solutions Inc.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 1.65 percent, or 110.40 points, to 6,577.45 while the broader all-shares index shed 1.14 percent, or 40.81 points, to 3,550.40.

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Investors saw no respite even as the camp of presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on Monday that respected economist Arsenio Balisacan will return to head the National Economic and Development Authority.

Save for mining and oil, all PSE subsectors were down with holding firms (-2.36 percent) and financials (-1.74 percent) recording the biggest declines.

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Warburg Pincus exit

Converge lost nearly 2 percent on Tuesday after the company announced the exit of Warburg Pincus affiliate Coherent Cloud Investments, a pre-initial public offering investor.

Data from the PSE showed a P13.72-billion block sale involving 548.7 million Converge shares at P25 each. In a separate statement, Converge committed to buying back of P6.5 billion of the shares.

Converge co-founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy said the buyback would improve shareholder value. Meanwhile, Coherent’s exit would raise Converge’s public float to “over 30 percent,” the company said in a statement.

The transaction pushed up the daily volume at the PSE to P20.2 billion (1.54 billion shares) as well as net foreign selling, which reached P9.58 billion on Tuesday.
Losers over advancers

Overall, there were 120 losers versus 63 advancers while 54 companies closed unchanged.

Converge was the top traded stock as it sank 1.9 percent to P25.80, which was just above Coherent’s P25 selling price.

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It was followed by BDO Unibank Inc, down 2.6 percent to P123.50; SM Prime Holdings Inc., down 0.66 percent to P37.70; International Container Terminal Services Inc., up 1.81 percent to P213.80; and Ayala Land Inc., down 2.81 percent to P27.70 per share.

Monde Nissin was flat at P15.92; Ayala Corp., down 2.94 percent to P660; Globe Telecom, down 0.78 percent to P2,530; PLDT Inc., down 2.24 percent to P1,916; and Synergy Grid & Development Philippines, up 1.94 percent to P12.64 per share.

—Miguel R. Camus INQ
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