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Madelaine B. Miraflor

DATEM’s nearly P5-B IPO pushed back to 2nd half

Construction firm DATEM, Inc. further pushed back its planned initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of this year, delaying a major capital raising activity of nearly P5 billion which the company will supposedly use for the fast-tracking of its ongoing projects. The company was supposed to go public and raise as much as P4.6 billion in December last year then it deferred it, leaving market participants with an assumption that it will just push through with it this semester. But according to First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) executive vice president Justino Ocampo, DATEM already decided that it will do its maiden share sale at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in the second half of this year. FMIC and BPI Capital Corp. were mandated to arrange the offering. “DATEM decided to defer it …

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First Metro expects to underwrite at least 3 to 5 IPOs this year

First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, is looking at closing three to five initial public offering (IPO) deals this year, most of which are consumer and property companies taking advantage of the bright outlook towards their respective sectors. FMIC executive vice president Justino Ocampo said the company is in talks with three to five companies who are interested to enter the market this year by listing their shares at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). “There are some deals that are work in progress, which would mostly come in the second half of the year. There are three to five names, in various stages of work,” Ocampo said in an interview with reporters on Wednesday. Ocampo said most of the IPOs would be bite size or those …

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PH shares index forecast to climb back to 7,500 in 2016

The local stock market is expected to climb back to 7,500 within the year, a target classified as “conservative” given the volatility present in both local and global financial markets. Bede Lovell, vice president at the First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), said the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) will likely hit a high of 7,500 this year with earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13 percent and price earnings (PE) ratio of 18 times. At the same time, he sees corporate earnings to grow by 13.8 percent this year. “Our outlook for the Philippines remains optimistic but guarded due to some uncertainties in the local and global financial markets,” First Metro president Rabboni Francis Arjonillo said. For the full year 2015, the PSEi gave up a total of 278.49 points or a decline of …

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DA speeds up implementation of first PRDP-backed project in Region 1

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is fast-tracking the completion of the first infrastructure project under the P27.3-billion Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) that will be developed in Region 1. A statement showed that the DA and the Provincial Government of La Union, being the pilot area in Region 1 for the implementation of PRDP, are already speeding up the development of the P120-million farm-to-market road (FMR) project in the area, which is expected to be the first project in the region to be built under the Intensified Building up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) component of PRDP. The project, the rehabilitation of the Balecbec-Basca FMR will directly benefit about 879 households in the Municipalities of Naguilian, Aringay and Caba, in La Union. The existing road system connects to the junction of …

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SEC wants power to claim profits, assets of investment scammers

As part of the proposed amendment of the Securities and Regulation Code (SRC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will push for a certain provision that will allow the country’s corporate regulatory watchdog to claim the profits of investment scammers in order to give it away to their victims. SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa said for 2016, one of the biggest projects of the agency is still to push for the amendment of the SRC. Enacted and approved in 2000, the SRC allows SEC to act on issues against false securities registration statement; fraud in connection with securities transactions; manipulation of security prices; and insider trading in the capital market, among others. Herbosa said the proposed amendment of the SRC is very important because it will include revisions that will further improve shareholder protection. For …

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Telcos, consumer stocks are most favored in 2016

Telecommunication firms and consumer-focused companies are still the most favored stocks as the local stock market enters an election year. Nisha Alicer, head analyst at DA Market Securities, said that for the first trading week of this year, telco and consumer stocks will still be a hot buy. “I prefer telcos for dividend play and defensive play, while consumer/retail continue to be a strong sector,” said Alicer. She said consumer sector will be largely supported by election spending, lower oil prices, and the country’s demographic dividends. AB Capital Securities’ Alexander Tiu also placed his bet on telco and media companies which both fall under one sector in the benchmark index. He said these sectors will directly benefit from the 2016 presidential elections. Tiu added that media companies listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) …

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Too costly to keep QR on rice – Alcala

While Filipino rice farmers are protected by the quantitative restriction (QR) against cheap rice imports, maintaining this protection beyond 2017 may be too costly for the government, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said. In issuing this warning, Alcala stressed that keeping the QR as set by the World Trade Organization will mean higher prices of rice in the country. “It will still depend on the next administration whether they want to seek for an extension. But if this will continue, it might be too costly for the country to lobby again for another extension,” Alcala said.  The QR allows the Philippines to limit the volume of rice that may be imported into the country from overseas markets. The QR, which is extended until 2017, is meant to lessen the pressure among local farmers to compete …

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SEC hopes to transfer to PICC before June

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hoping that its delayed planned transfer to a temporary location will finally take place within the first half of this 2016, a development that, according to an SEC high-ranking official, will help the agency serve the public better. The transfer to a temporary office within the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) complex was targeted to happen before the end of 2015. Since this target was not met, SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa said the intention of the agency is to move to its new headquarters before June of this year. “We’ve already concretize the move to transfer office at the PICC. We’ve already signed the contract and the site will already be under the consultant for the layout to make our transfer smooth,” Herbosa said in an …

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DA seeks new WB funding for rural dev’t project

Because of the success in the implementation of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) and to avoid its postponement, the Department of Agriculture (DA) will ask additional funding for the World Bank-backed project for its continuous roll-out. Now on its third year, the P27.3-billion PRDP is a six-year national project until 2018 that is being implemented through the partnership of the DA, World Bank and local government units (LGUs). “For the PRDP, we are going to ask more funds. Supposedly, the fund should cover six years but because the implementation was very good as well as the acceptance of LGUs, everyone is realizing that the project is really of a big help,” DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said in an interview with reporters. “So we might spend all the funds as early as next …

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Access to healthcare still a problem in PH

While the Philippine pharmaceutical industry is touted as one of the strongest in Southeast Asia, a study showed the sector is still facing challenges such as providing the poor people access to quality medication and healthcare. This was according to the data provided by the Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP). Nevertheless, PHAP specified that significant steps have already been accomplished by the pharmaceutical industry to address these challenges and ongoing efforts are being made to further increase patient access to quality medication and healthcare. “Though the Philippine pharmaceutical industry has achieved a lot and proved to be one of the best in Southeast Asia, it is equally important for us to pursue ways of increasing patient access to quality healthcare,” said PHAP executive director Teodoro Padilla. The group emphasized that the …

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