• ‘Bite-size’ IPOs underway – FMIC

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    Two small-cap or “bite sized” companies are expected to conduct their initial public offerings (IPOs) within the first half of the year, according to First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group.

    FMIC president Roberto Juanchito Dispo told reporters on Wednesday that two of their small-cap clients are set to conduct its initial public offerings (IPO) in the first semester of the year.

    Dispo said the two companies will raise “about P1 billion to P2 billion each” from their maiden offerings. One company is involved in the industry, food and consumer sectors while the other is engaged in lending, remittances and pawnshop businesses.

    “Bite-sized meaning P1-2 billion. These are smaller companies eyeing an IPO. I think bite-sized IPOs in the Philippine context is more doable, easily absorbable by the market,” Dispo said.

    “[It] is also consistent with our advocacy to introduce new capital market names in the market…mostly SMEs [small and medium enterprises], emerging companies, rather than go for matured big companies. I think this year we’re shifting our strategy, we’re identifying SMEs that are very profitable that can easily be listed on the exchange,” the FMIC chief added.

    Another FMIC client, Company of Friends Inc. (ProFriends), which was eyeing an IPO before the end of 2014, has decided to again defer its P7.7-billion offering to the first quarter of the year.

    ProFriends will offer 385.75 million shares, priced at a maximum of P20 each.

    Dispo said the Pro-Friends market debut was delayed as they “ran out of time” to prepare the financial statements, but said offer size and price will remain the same.

    Besides ProFriends and the two small-cap companies, casual dining firm Gweillo Corp. also plans to launch its P75-million IPO within the year.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange earlier said it expected some nine or 10 firms to list on the exchange this year.

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