Ongpin’s PhilWeb seeks 3-day trading suspension

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Ongpin’s PhilWeb seeks 3-day trading suspension
Share price of PhilWeb on Friday, July 1 fell by as much as 22.13% on reports that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to stop online gambling

MANILA, Philippines – The online gaming firm of Roberto Ongpin, PhilWeb Corporation, sought for 3-day trading suspension of its shares citing “unverified material information” which has affected its business.

In view of unverified material information affecting the business of PhilWeb Corporation that will materially affect the investing public, we hereby request for a trading suspension in PhilWeb shares from 4 July 2016 to 6 July 2016,”  Raymund S. Aquino, PhilWeb corporate information officer, said in a letter to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The company did not say exactly what the unverified material information was all about. But there are reports that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to put a stop to online gambling.

But share price of PhilWeb on Friday, July 1 fell by as much as 22.13% on reports that President Rodrigo Duterte wants a stop on online gambling.

PhilWeb’s contract with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is slated to expire on July 11, 2016.

PhilWeb currently operates a network of 268 PAGCOR e-Games cafes with a total of 8,839 gaming terminals nationwide. Most of these e-Games are in the National Capital Region including Quezon, Batangas and within Balesin Island which is owned by the Ongpin group.

Most e-Games cafes operate on a 24/7 basis.

Treasury shares sale in danger

The steep decline in PhilWeb’s stock price would affect the company’s plan to raise as much as P6 billion via sale of treasury shares through private placement. (READ: PhilWeb shrugs off entry of high-end casinos)

Last month, PhilWeb announced to make a private placement of up to 300 million shares at a discount to market but in no case less than P20 per share.

“The private placement will result in PhilWeb receiving cash and receivables of at least P6 billion. With this war chest, the company will have the ability to go on an aggressive expansion program,” PhilWeb said.

The 300 million shares is equivalent to near 20% stake in the company.

The actual price and payment terms however will be subject to the approval by the PhilWeb Board or Executive Committee.

The shares to be sold at this private placement are part of the 354.6 million shares currently in treasury which PhilWeb bought from PLDT Incorporated in 2013 at an average price of P11.90 or a total value of P4.2 billion. –

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