Metro Retail stabilizes at market debut

Chrisee Dela Paz

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Metro Retail stabilizes at market debut
Following its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange, Metro Retail says it plans to add 60-70 more stores nationwide over the next 5 years

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu-based supermarket and department store chain Metro Retail Stores Group, Incorporated marked its first day as a publicly listed company by closing favorably amid a volatile market.

Listing on Tuesday, November 24 with the stock symbol “MRSGI,” Metro Retail saw its shares end trading at P4 ($0.085) apiece, up by 0.25% from its P3.99 (0.084) offer price. They opened P4.30 ($0.091) per share, a near 8% surge from the offer price. 

This rose to P4.49 ($0.095) or 12.5% higher than its P3.99 ($0.085) initial public offering (IPO) price.

“We took the bold move notwithstanding the volatile, unpredictable market,” said Sherisa Nuesa, advisor to Metro Retail’s Board of Directors, said in a press briefing after the firm’s debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in Makati City on Tuesday, November 24. 

“Investors are finding value in Metro Retail, which found dominance in Visayas,” Nueza said, and added that Metro Retail is pleased with the outcome of the IPO.

At the end of trading, market capitalization stood at P13.68 billion ($290.44 million).

The retail arm of Vicsal Development Corporation, Metro Retail, plans to ramp up store expansion and build up its distribution and logistics facilities with the issuance of 905.4 million primary shares. Metro Retail seeks to raise as much as P3.62 billion ($76.85 million) to fund its expansion plans from its PSE debut, 

“This is a domestc-led offering. We have a very good mix of institutional and retail investors,” Nueza said.

Doubling footprint

DOUBLED FOOTPRINT. 'By 2020, 40%-50% of our stores will be in the Visayas,' Metro Retail's Arthur Emmanuel says

Metro Retail Stores has 46 stores in the Visayas, Central Luzon, National Capital Region, as well as the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon and Bicol regions. The corporation plans to add 60-70 stores nationwide for the next 5 years.

“As we double our footprint in the next 5 years, [we will add] another 60-70 stores, depending on the format,” Joseph Conrad Balatbat, vice-president for Business Development of Metro Retail, told a press briefing in Makati City on Tuesday.

He added that by 2020, 40%-50% of its stores will be in the Visayas. The remainder will be built on several areas in Mindanao, as well as Luzon.”

“As it turns out, consider the restlessness in the global market, we have a very good mix of institutionals and retail investors,” Balatbat said.

Metro Retail is the third company that went public this year after Crown Asia Chemicals Corporation and SBS Philippines Corporation. —


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