October 13, 2014 10:10 pm JST

Bulls play on the Philippine bourse

CLIFF VENZON, Nikkei staff writer

MANILA -- As the market surges, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission has approved three major equity offerings collectively valued at 18.9 billion pesos ($422 million).

     The regulator said on Monday that it has cleared initial public offerings by upscale retailer SSI Group, mobile content developer Xurpas, as well as a preferred share sale by fuel retailer Petron, a unit of San Miguel.

     The Philippine stock market has been swamped with equity transactions in the second half of the year amid buoyant share prices. The benchmark PSE index, which has been testing record levels in recent weeks, is up 18% on the start of the year. 

     SSI Group, local distributor of luxury brands like Lacoste and Gucci and a major investor in FamilyMart in the Philippines, plans to sell combined 994 million primary and secondary shares at 7.5 pesos each. The funds will go to retail store development, FamilyMart expansion and debt payment, according to the preliminary prospectus.

     Xurpas is looking to sell 344 million shares at up to 4.19 pesos apiece, raising 1.44 billion pesos in new capital. The company counts telecommunications giants Philippine Long Distance Telephone and Globe Telecom as clients, and plans to use the capital for content development and expansion of its distribution network.

     Both IPO bids must secure separate approval from the Philippine Stock Exchange before they can proceed to the public offering.

     Petron expects to raise 10 billion pesos by selling 10 million preferred shares at 1,000 pesos apiece. The fresh funds will be used to redeem outstanding preferred shares earlier earmarked for the upgrade of an oil refinery and expansion of Petron's distribution network. The company has about 40% of the local fuel distribution market. 

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