MANILA - The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. has signed a firm underwriting agreement ensuring a reduction in its broker ownership to less than 20 percent, which will pave the way for an acquisition of the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Inc.
The PSE signed Friday the agreement with BDO Capital & Investment Corporation and First Metro Investment Corporation for the conduct of its stock rights offering next month.
“The firm commitment of our underwriters to our SRO effectively reduces the ownership of brokers in the Exchange to below 20 percent. Compliance with the Securities Regulation Code on the 20 percent maximum broker ownership in the Exchange has finally been achieved,” PSE president and chief executive officer Ramon Monzon said in a statement.
The PSE is offering 11.5 million shares in the SRO to all its existing shareholders as of March 1, 2018, at P252 per share. The offer period will run from March 12 to 16.
Broker shareholders will not be allowed to participate and subscribe to the offered shares as the SRO was aimed to comply with the SRC provision that no single industry can own more than 20 percent of the voting rights of a stock exchange.
“The road to compliance was a long multi-step process which concludes with the SRO...But we were committed and focused all throughout the process and we are happy to see its completion and conclusion. We are introducing monitoring and trading mechanisms, including the necessary system automation to ensure that broker ownership limits in the Exchange will no longer be breached moving forward,” he said.
Compliance with the ownership limit of stockbrokers was required by the SEC before PSE could proceed to acquire PDS, the owner of the fixed-income bourse operator, Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corporation.
“This is a reform that has remained unresolved for many years. It took no less than DOF (Department of Finance) Secretary Dominguez to ensure that full compliance is finally achieved,” PSE chairman Jose Pardo said.
The Philippine Competition Commission approved last November the PSE's plan to merge with the PDS.*PNA
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