EDC, ICTSI, 4 others buy back shares

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To take advantage of low prices

SIX listed firms including Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC), the Enrique Razon-led International Container Services Inc. (ICTSI), and Henry Sy’s Belle Corp. on Monday said they bought back their own shares from the market to take advantage of the recent slump in their respective share prices.

In separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, at least six corporations said they have repurchased their own shares. These include EDC, ICTSI, Belle Corp., Bloomberry Resorts Corp., Phinma Corp. and Splash Corp.

“This development indicates that their respective share prices have become attractive given the steep sell-off in the past week including last Monday,” April Lyn Tan, head of research at COL Financial Group Inc., said in a phone interview.


EDC has earmarked P4 billion for its buyback program and has repurchased 900,000 shares as of this writing, with prices starting at P5.53 a share.

ICTSI has repurchased 550,000 shares at P58 per share, equivalent to a total of P337.83 million.

Belle Corp. bought back 839,000 shares at prices ranging from P2.40 to P2.54 a share for a total of P141.675 million.

Phinma and Splash repurchased their own shares for P14.03 million and P1.88 million, respectively.

Astro del Castillo, president and managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., said in a phone interview that the said firms are clearly taking advantage of the lower prices to repurchase their own shares at a bargain.

“This is actually a good investment move on the part of the companies given [their]much lower [share]prices these days. It is also a means of boosting the confidence level of investors toward these corporations,” he added.

Lester Azurin, analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc., said that the buyback program is a remedial measure to support the value of these companies’ shares as well as to take advantage of the softer prices seen in recent days.

“To assure investors that companies, despite the slump in prices, are still very much in good standing,” Azurin said.

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