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Philippine bourse targets more IPOs, REITs this year on recovery hope

Published 01/04/2021, 09:07 AM
Updated 01/04/2021, 09:10 AM
© Reuters.

MANILA, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Seven Philippine firms plan to go
public or offer real estate investment trusts (REIT) this year,
the stock exchange said on Monday, representing a spurt in
capital market activity in an economy still shaken by the impact
of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippines, one of Asia's fastest-growing economies
before the pandemic, has long struggled to attract firms to its
stock market, with just seven initial public offerings (IPOs) in
the past three years.
However in 2021, at least three companies will go public and
four property firms will conduct REIT offerings, Philippine
Stock Exchange Inc PSE.PS President and Chief Executive Ramon
Monzon said in a statement, without identifying the companies.
Last November, DoubleDragon Properties Corp DD.PS said it
planned raise as much as 14.7 billion pesos ($306 million)
through a REIT in February. REITs manage real estate assets such as hotels, office
buildings and shopping malls that regularly generate profit.
They are attractive to investors seeking regular dividends.
"Although the current economic environment remains fragile
because of the unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation, we
choose to be optimistic," Monzon said, adding that restoring
investor confidence will continue to be a challenge.
The bourse will relax listing rules this year to attract
more companies, Monzon said. Also, new features will include
short-selling, added sector classifications and indices, and a
data analytics platform, he said.
At 272, the bourse lists the lowest number of companies
among major Southeast Asian peers.
Funds raised through the bourse rose 2.9% in 2020 to 104
billion pesos ($2.17 billion), mainly through IPOs and follow-on
share sales, bourse data showed.
The Philippines' broader stock index .PSI declined 8.6%
last year, plunging as much as 41% in March during the novel
coronavirus-induced global market sell-down.

($1 = 48.0100 Philippine pesos)

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