More IPOs seen in 2014


More companies are seen making their debut in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) amid the unchanged overall bright outlook toward the country’s stock market.

Hans Sicat, PSE president and chief executive officer, said that while there may be few more companies that will try to make their maiden share sale at the local bourse within the year, there will still be more firms that will do their initial public offerings (IPOs) next year.

Year to date, the companies that have joined the local bourse are Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., Harbor Star Shipping Services Inc., Philippine Business Bank, Asia United Bank and AG Finance, and Del Monte Pacific Ltd., which was listed by way of introduction.

Other companies that are set to officially list in the stock exchange within the year are Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., Frontier Oil Corp., Concepcion Industrial Corp. and Discovery World Corp.

“There are few more [within the year]. People [companies]are trying to finish through December,” Sicat said.

He said that IPOs may come as early as the first quarter of next year, and may slowdown in the succeeding quarters because of potential volatility.

Sicat also said that the public offerings throughout 2014, which will be driven by still positive economic fundamentals, may be more than 10, larger than its initial target for 2013, which was only nine.

“There’s a lot of improved liquidity on the exchange, especially on the average trading value. Even this year, year-to-date, we’re still about 50-percent up average trading value. There’s a lot of money coming up in SDAs [special deposit account]. We have a relatively calm market. Our fundamentals continue to be very strong,” Sicat noted.

According to hims, a lot of the companies that will make their debut in the stock market will come from the consumer sector, as well as in infrastructure.

Shariah compliant stocks
Meanwhile, the local bourse is set to come up with the list of companies that are Shariah-compliant, right after it launches an Islamic equity index in the PSE before the end of the month.

Designed to tap the global Islamic market, Shariah-compliant stocks follow the Islamic law that prohibits market participants to invest into companies that sell goods such as alcohol, tobacco or firearms.

Also, companies with large amounts of debt and are related to gambling, meat and conventional financial services, such as banking and insurance, are not Shariah-compliant equities.

“We will be officially launching it. We’ll do it one step at a time. After we launch this, hopefully, we can already launch the list,” Sicat said.

As to how many companies that will initially be on the list, Sicat said that the parties involved in the upcoming launch are “finalizing it right now.”

“I will give you more details in two weeks,” he added.


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