• Uncertainty prompts Philstock to reset IPO

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    Online stock brokerage Philstocks Financial Inc., banking on fast-growing retail investing, has pushed back its listing plans to next year given current market volatility.

    Formerly Accord Capital Equities Corp., Philstocks – whose initial public offering (IPO) plan has yet to be approved by the Philippine Stock Exchange — is eyeing to raise up to P185.89 million to improve its online trading platform and expand its client base.

    The brokerage, which secured the go-signal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month, will be offering up to 98.88 million common shares at P1.88 apiece.
    In a statement on Monday, Philstocks said a 65-percent industry growth in the past year had boosted its online client base by 220 percent to over 15,000 from 5,000 a year earlier.

    The company said proceeds of P167.51 million after listing related expenses and taxes would be used for margin financing (P50 million), expansion of IT infrastructure and software development (P40 million), acquisition of marketable securities (P30 million), general working capital (P17.51 million), branch expansion (P15 million), and advertising, marketing, acquisition and promotions (P15 million).

    Philstocks expects its market capitalization to increase to P702.89 million. Outstanding shares will increase to 373.88 million from 275 million.

    Post-IPO, the company will be 26.4 percent publicly owned, with Paul Wee and Pleshette Wee holding 70.34 percent and other minority shareholders accounting 3.26 percent.
    Unicapital Inc. has been appointed the sole issue manager and underwriter of the issue.
    Joseph Tarrobal, head of sales and marketing at Philstocks, said millennials seeking other investment alternatives had fueled the company’s growth.

    Its trading platform remains “the most reliable in the industry,” he claimed, adding: “Our system has been tested and proven to be reliable even during spikes in trading activity.”
    The company said it met SEC capital requirements for a local stock brokerage with a P125 million paid-up capital, noting it was the first online brokerage to do so in 2004.

    In 2013, the company launched the mobile trading application Philstocks XAVi for IOS and Android.It is so far the first and only stock trading mobile app approved by the SEC.
    Aside from Philstocks, companies that had announced plans to go public this year but have since shelved these include Pro-Friends or Company of Friends Inc. (P7.7 billion), Datem Inc. (P4.65 billion), D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc. (P10.729 billion), Gweilo Corp. (P95 million), Green Power Panay Philippines Inc. (P290 million), Philippine Primark Properties Inc. (P1.2 billion), Pointwest Technologies Corp. (P2.09 billion), and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.

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