• COL Financial banks on the lure of PSE to grow client base


    Stock brokerage COL Financial Group Inc. intends to grow its individual client base by a quarter to 200,000 as the Philippine Stock Exchange to attract more investors.

    On the sidelines of COL’s annual stockholders meeting, President and Chief Executive Officer Conrado Bate told reporters that despite the impact of present market conditions on the company’s bottom line for the year, the number of customers is will grow by a quarter or by 40,000 clients this year.

    “We are very dependent on market conditions in terms of our bottom line, but in terms of growth and number of customers, which is how we measure our success, we continue to see growth to be at least an additional 40, 000 customers a year… Asset base to grow by 8 to 10 percent… Here we feel we have better control of,” Bate said.

    COL expects to rake in some P52 billion in client equity this year from P46.9 billion last year or an 8 to 10 percent increase.

    A surge in customer accounts of as much as 40,000 to the 162,330 customers of the company is expected to complement asset growth, he said.

    “We are pleased with the initial outcome of our mutual fund distribution business, as we were able to expand our reach and relationship with our existing customers. This implies the growing trust of our customers, as they see us more than just their online stock broker but also their wealth-building partner,” Bate claimed.

    The company remains optimistic about its mutual fund business. Bate expects to add 20,000 to 25,000 new accounts from 7,500 as of end-December 2015, of which 10 to 15 percent are new accounts.

    COL registered P499.7 million of assets under administration as of end-2015, even though its mutual fund business has been operating less than a year. It accounts for 9.3 percent of the industry net sales in the second half of the year.

    “Although the Philippine stock market is currently undergoing a difficult phase, we believe that this is only temporary. Given the country’s strong fundamentals, we are confident that the stock market’s long-term trend remains positive,” Bate said.

    “Coupled with the under-penetrated nature of the financial services industry, we still see much room for growth,” he added.


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