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Regulator clears more IPOs, follow-on offering

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Wednesday it “considered favorably” the initial public offerings (IPOs) of Citicore Energy REIT Corp. (CREIT) and Figaro Coffee Group, Inc., as well as the follow-on offering (FOO) of Arthaland Corp.

Analysts said investor appetite for these offerings may depend on the final price and the further easing of lockdown restrictions, as the pandemic continues to weigh on sentiment.

“Everything always boils down to the final price. Generally, though, [the] timing seems to [be] good since market sentiment has been a bit more bullish as evident by trading activity and current PSEi (Philippine Stock Exchange index) levels,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Timson Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said there was IPO fatigue observed in US markets earlier this year.

“We may also have to observe how investors’ appetite for new listings will unfold in the coming offerings,” he said.

Some investors may be interested in diversifying their portfolio with CREIT’s offering, since it is the first energy-focused real estate investment trust (REIT).

“CREIT may offer investors an opportunity to further diversify their portfolio given that it’s positioned as the first energy-related REIT to be offered in the local market,” Mr. Pangan said in a separate Viber message.

CREIT is looking to offer 1.05 billion primary shares for P3.15 apiece, with an oversubscription option of up to 418.34 million shares.

Should the oversubscription option be exercised, the company may raise up to P4.62 billion. Net proceeds will be used to acquire properties in Bulacan and South Cotabato.

CREIT’s sponsor, Citicore Renewable Energy Corp., is also offering 1.74 billion in secondary shares. However, CREIT will not receive proceeds from the secondary offer.

According to its latest timetable submitted to the SEC, CREIT said the offer period will run from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3. It aims to list on the main board of the Philippine Stock Exchange on Dec. 13.

Meanwhile, the Figaro Group’s IPO may depend on the expected rebound in consumer spending since it operates food brands such as Figaro Coffee, Angel’s Pizza and Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine restaurants.

“The Figaro IPO would be a function of the recovery or growth in consumer spending, which accounts for at least 70% of the economy, amid measures to further reopen the economy,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

Figaro Group’s P1.77-billion IPO is comprised of 1.26 billion common shares offered to the public for P1.28 per share at most, with an overallotment option of up to 126 million shares. It plans to use net proceeds for store launches and renovations, commissary expansion, repayment of debt, development for IT infrastructure, as well as for potential acquisitions.

The offer period is from Dec. 16 to 22, while listing at the PSE is scheduled on Dec. 31.

“Both IPOs (CREIT and Figaro Group) could already be within the context or story of increased reopening or recovery of the economy, unlike the previous share sales a few months ago when there were still tighter restrictions or broader lockdowns,” Mr. Ricafort said.

Meanwhile, Arthaland’s P3-billion FOO comprises up to four million Series D preferred shares for P500 per share, along with up to two million preferred shares for an oversubscription option.

Arthaland plans to use proceeds for the redemption of its Series B preferred shares and to finance investments in its subsidiaries.

In a statement on Monday, the PSE reported P161.41 billion of capital was raised from the sale of primary and secondary shares in the first nine months. This included four IPOs, three FOOs, three stock rights offerings, and six private placements.

The Keepers Holdings, Inc. recently concluded its FOO and will list on the main bourse on Friday, after raising P4.5 billion.

Regulators have also recently approved the P1.5-billion FOO of A Brown Co., Inc. and Cirtek Holdings Philippines Corp.’s P3.5-billion FOO.

Medilines Distributors, Inc. and Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. are also gearing up for their IPOs. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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