PAL considers delisting

Rappler.com
Philippine Airlines is considering delisting as the deadline for the new public float rules on the Philippine Stock Exchange approaches

DELIST UNITS. Ramon Ang says several units he heads may delist as the deadline for new public float requirements nears. Photo by Katherine Visconti

MANILA, Philippines – Ramon Ang threatened to delist another company he heads, flagship carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), as the local stock exchange tightens public ownership rules.

“Because we cannot comply with the [Philippine Stock Exchange madate] we have two options, to voluntarily delist or they should delist  us,” PAL President Ramon Ang told reporters on Friday, September 28.

“PAL, that’s the one that is listed so that will be delisted,” he said.

Firms that are delisted would no longer have the ability to raise capital through the exchange. The penalty could be tough on companies planning on selling shares to finance expansion and other expenses.

Only 2.3% of PAL’s shares are currently held by the public, well below the 10% requirement that the PSE is now mandating for listed firms.

Ang  has said he plans to build a new airport soon, which would be a very capital intensive endeavor. “Yes, if you’re going to do an airport, you need at least 1 to 2 billion dollars equity,” he said.

The PAL president said he could always opt to finance the plan through a loan. “As a private company, you can borrow from a bank, any bank,” said Ang.

In August, Ang said he may voluntarily list 3 business units under San Miguel Corp which also have the following low public floats:

  •     San Miguel Pure Foods Co – 0.08%
  •     San Miguel Brewery Inc – 0.61%
  •     San Miguel Properties Inc – 0.06%

Companies have until the end of the year to comply with the stricter rules or they risk losing the tax breaks given to investors buying their shares. The PSE also threatened to suspend trading for companies that fail to meet the new limit.

As of July 30, 27 listed firms fell below the minimum public ownership level. The Pangilinan-led infrastructure group, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is also considering delisting as the deadline nears. – Rappler.com

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