Bourse to ‘handhold’ SMEs into going public

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is again looking to lure small and medium enterprises into listing via a new “handholding” program.

“We’re basically going to focus on getting more SMEs listed. We are in fact, creating a program, a group in the PSE to engage SMEs,” PSE President Ramon Monzon told a news conference in Makati City late on Wednesday.

“Basically, we tied with some organizations like the PCCI [Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry], the Philippine Franchise Association, and GoNegosyo who can identify companies that have eligibility for public listing,” he added.

The Aspire PSE program aims to introduce and encourage qualified companies to go public.


“Just to make sure, it’s a handholding program. In other words, it’s not an incubator program but it’s patterned after an incubator like you will prepare them for eventual public offering,” PSE Chief Operating Officer Roel Refran said.

“Some take five years, some take longer but the first step is the hardest step. They don’t know who to talk to, they don’t know what’s the merits of considering this so we’d like to bridge that gap,” he added.

“Hopefully we can get as much as we can for purposes of populating that—connecting them to potential gatekeepers in terms of the underwriters.”

Under the PSE’s SME listing requirements, a company must have a track record of a cumulative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, of at least P15 million for three fiscal years immediately preceding the application for listing.

It must also have a positive EBITDA for at least two of the last three fiscal years, including the fiscal year immediately preceding the filing of the application.

Lastly, the applicant company must be engaged in materially the same business and must have a proven track record of management throughout the last three years prior to the filing of the listing application.

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