SEC to decide on PSE-PDS merger next week

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will hold a special en banc session next week to decide on the proposed merger between the country’s equities and bond markets.

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In a chance interview on Tuesday, SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa told reporters that the agency’s en banc will tackle the matter on Monday, March 28.

“We actually have until Monday to decide since the March 26 deadline falls on a Saturday… So we have until the next working day to deliberate,” Herbosa said.

The SEC chief said the Market Securities and Regulation Department has submitted its preliminary study on the planned merger between the Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. and PDS Holding Inc.

“Once we arrive at our decision, we will let you know and we will thoroughly explain our decision,” SEC associate commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong has said.

In the proposed merger, the PSE will be the surviving entity.

Amatong emphasized that the non-negotiable guideline for their decision in approving the proposed merger is anchored on whether the merger would result in better services—both to the investors and issuers of bonds and equities.

“There are advantages: lower cost, making the exchanges more efficient. If you combine them, would they be able to provide better services? If not, why would we combine them? What’s in it for us anyway?” the commissioner added.

Since 2014, the PSE has been working on a P2.25-billion acquisition for a majority stake in PDS Holdings. It failed to secure regulatory approval last year as the SEC wanted to resolve several questions, particularly on how the PSE would run the merged entity.

The PSE submitted its proposed business plan to the SEC last January 26.

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