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PSE to continue delisting suspended companies

THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) will continue delisting companies that have been suspended and have not been trading for some time.

The bourse’s Issuer Regulation Division would clean up the list in the next few weeks, PSE President Ramon S. Monzon told an online news briefing on Friday.

“That’s one of her assignments from me — clean up all these listed companies that are not [trading], that have been suspended for a long time,” he said referring to Marigel Baniqued-Garcia, the division’s new head.

The division will complete due-process requirements before coming up with decisions.

Companies that have failed to file annual reports on time and correct negative stockholder equity in the past three years may be involuntarily delisted, Mr. Monzon said.

Companies that applied for voluntary delisting and have not traded for a time may also get stricken off the list. The PSE is planning to add a time-bound rule to cover this in the future, he said.

“If a company fails to trade for three or five years, it cannot be listed,” Mr. Monzon said in mixed English and Filipino.

In June, the exchange issued memos on the involuntary delisting of Export and Industry Bank, Inc. and Primetown Property Group, Inc.

It said the country has few listed companies at 270, only 80 to 90 of which are trading.

“I’d rather have 90 listed companies that are trading,” which looks better, Mr. Monzon said.

A company that gets delisted from the exchange must buy back shares from investors in a process called a tender offer.

The PSE in December tightened voluntary delisting rules by giving shareholders a say in any company delisting. It also required the tender offer price to consider the stock’s volume-weighted average price a year before the plan.

This was after complaints from minority shareholders who were dissatisfied with the tender offer price given by companies that have delisted from the stock exchange in recent years.

Under the new rules, a company must make sure that votes against the delisting plan do not exceed 10% of a company’s total outstanding and listed shares. Before, only the approval of a listed company’s board was needed to delist. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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