Stocks firmer on selective buying, Xurpas IPO

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PHILIPPINE stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday on buying in select stocks, with investor attention focused mostly on the market debut of mobile content provider Xurpas Inc.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up 12.50 points or 0.17 percent to 7,344.23, while the wider All Shares index rose 10.14 points or 0.24 percent to 4,316.59.

Xurpas’ offering was 6.5 times oversubscribed at the close of its offer period last November 25. Upon its listing on Tuesday, Xurpas shares surged nearly 50 percent to end at P5.95 per share from its IPO price of P3.97. Trading with the “X” symbol, Xurpas raised P1.24 billion from its IPO of 344 million shares.

“The market was again relatively flat today as eyes were on Xurpas’ listing today.


Primary movers today are Aboitiz Equity Ventures, BDO Unibank Inc., Megaworld Corp., and Jollibee Foods Corp.,” Joyce Anne Ramos, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said in a text message.

“For tomorrow, we continue to expect the market to swing sideways (and/or follow neighboring markets) in the absence of domestic leads in the local front and while waiting for the boost for a possible yearend rally,” Ramos said.

For his part, BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas told The Manila Times that the market ended higher on bargain hunting “despite some players taking the advance as an opportunity to lighten up.”

He sees the market continuing to trade in a range of 7,000 points to 7,400 points.
All sectoral indices were in the green. Financials inched up 1.10 points or 0.06 percent to 1,712.97, industrials rose 52.24 points or 0.44 percent to 11,978.19, and holding firms advanced 10.89 points or 0.17 percent to 6,423.99;
Services added 2.44 points or 0.11 percent to 2,170.57, mining and oil jumped 86.86 points or 0.55 percent to 15,847.47, while property went up 16.26 points or 0.57 percent to 2,877.22.

Among the top-traded stocks, Metrobank inched down while PLDT ended flat. The active gainers were Universal Robina Corp. (URC), also Ayala Corp., BDO Unibank Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Megaworld Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., Jollibee Foods Corp., and SSI Group Inc.

URC on Tuesday said it would cut its stake in Nissin-Universal Robina Corp. (NURC) to 51 percent from 65 percent to allow its Japanese partner Nissin Foods Holdings Co. Ltd. to increase its stake.

On Monday, the main index rose 37.35 points or 0.51 percent to 7,331.73, led by blue-chip gains, while the broader All Shares added 9.55 points or 0.22 percent to 4,306.45.

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