PSE to refile takeover bid for bond market

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The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is keen on reviving its merger plans with the Philippine Dealing Systems Holdings Corp. (PDS) by resubmitting its documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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The PSE wants to own more than 20 percent of PDS in line with its vision to integrate stocks and bonds trading in the country.

In a briefing late Monday, PSE President Hans Sicat said the PSE will refile the request within the year.

According to Philippines laws, a single entity is allowed to own only up to 20 percent of an exchange. An exemptive relief from the SEC is needed for the PSE to own more than 20 percent in order to merge both the stock and bond markets.

The PSE has been eyeing to integrate both markets since last year to catch up with regional markets, which have merged both the stock and bond trading platforms.

But the SEC turned down the PSE earlier this year, saying that no party can own more than 20 percent of an exchange.

“At this stage, we started talking to the regulator … If indeed they are amenable with the concept of an integrated exchange, we’ll work on a formal filing … Right now, talks are fairly general. It appears they’re willing to consider the integrated capital markets,” Sicat said.

Asked if the PSE will pursue its plan and resubmit its request for an exemptive relief within the year, the PSE official was positive about it.

“If we maintain our voice in the Asean region, you need to have vertically integrated operations. All the other Asean markets are already integrated,” Sicat said.

“The competition for capital markets services is a regional or even a global situation. It’s not a local national boundary situation.

“Hopefully by this month, we will get a good sense of what … [the SEC]wanted,” he said.

At present, the PSE owns 20 percent of the PDS. Its other stakeholders are the Bankers Association of the Philippines (28.9 percent), Singapore Exchange Limited (20 percent) and minority shareholders (31.1 percent).

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