PNOC-EXPLORATION Corp. (PNOC-EC) will no longer be part of the publicly traded companies in the local bourse after it has fallen short in its public float percentage.
This is the first time that a public firm got “involuntarily delisted” from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) because of public float issue.
“We are delisting it [PNOC-EC],” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans Sicat told reporters.
“They [PNOC-EC] got the unfortunate label of the only one of not complying with the PSE rule out of all 45 other companies who were able to be figure out what to do in the last 18 months,” he added.
Sicat was referring to the almost one-year grace period they have given the minimum public ownership (MPO) rule noncompliant listed firms to comply.
The MPO rule requires all the listed firms to have at least 10 percent of its shares owned by the public.
“They said they wanted to comply originally. I think it’s very clear. By June 30, it’s very clear and the rules were crafted in agreement with the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] and DOF [Department of Finance] as part of the discussion. As far as delisting is concerned, we said if you are noncompliant with public float, by June 30, 2013, you will be subject to automatic delisting,” Sicat explained.
In a memorandum filed by the PSE on Friday night, the PSE informed the investing public that PNOC-EC remains noncompliant with the MPO rule up to the last trading day of June.
“In accordance with Section 3 (i) of the Amended Rule of Minimum Public Ownership, the shares of PNOC-EC shall be delisted from the Official Registry of the Exchange effective July 1, 2013,” the memorandum filed by the PSE stated.
Sicat said that unlike the firms that voluntarily delisted, which can relist its shares in the bourse any time, a firm that got involuntary delisted would still have to wait five years to be able to go back.
“If you voluntarily delist yourself, you still have to present yourself as a new company. You have to prove you are worth the listing. If involuntarily delisted, you have five-year cooling off period,” he further said.
PNOC-EC used to be part of the cluster of the three remaining MPO noncompliant firms—Nextstage Inc., Pal Holdings Inc. and Philcomsat Holdings Corp.
However, these three firms have already made formal notification to the local bourse during the last week of June about unloading its shares for the public.
On Friday, Philcomsat disclosed that it has already complied with the MPO rule, while PAL Holdings seek for regulatory approval a few days ago to increase its capital stock to accommodate some investors.
For Nextstage, Sicat said that the firm has already “sold off a block” of their shares.