FMIC to issue Philippines’ first ETFs next month

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The investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), is set to list the country’s first Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) next month in the local bourse.

Moreover, FMIC is eyeing a dual listing of its ETFs, with the Hong Kong stock exchange as its target two to three months after it officially lists the financial instruments in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

FMIC President Roberto Juan­chito Dispo told reporters on Thursday that the company is one process away from issuing the first ETFs in the Philippine equity market.

“We’re filing the last requirements to the PSE on Friday [today]and the reasonable timeline we’re looking at is second half of July,” he said.

“We’re also studying to do a dual listing in Hong Kong, because it is a market where there’s a lot of mature global institutional investors that are familiar with ETFs, and this will allow a lot of global institutional investors to be able to invest in the Philippine equity market by not directly buying individual stocks,” he further explained.

Dispo said that FMIC’s initial capitalization authorization for its ETFs has been pegged at P3 billion, higher than what was actually planned before, which is P1 billion.

“We increased it in the anticipation of a very strong demand from institutional and global investors,” he said.

FMIC is also still working on less than five initial public offerings (IPOs) and some big project financing mostly for the power, oil and gas, and property sectors.

Justino Ocampo, FMIC senior vice president, said in an interview with reporters that each of the “less than five” companies that will do its public offering may offer shares worth P3 billion to P8 billion.

“We’re still in the process of doing this. Some have already been done. We have a few that is still being processed,” he said.

On debt side, Ocampo mentioned that FMIC is going to undertake one major power project financing.

“We’re raising P31 billion for one power firm. Dapat third quarter this year [It should be by third quarter this year]. There’s a lot of activities in terms of power debt financing,” he said.

Ocampo cited that for this year, the local equity markets had several IPOs and placements, which could total to about P108 billion.

Madelaine B. Miraflor

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