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Philippine Stock Exchange targets 20 initial public offerings in 2023

THE PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) is targeting 20 new company listings in 2023, its president said on Thursday.

“We (will have) 11 this year, I mean there’s no reason why we cannot target 20 next year,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon said during the Road to IPO virtual event. 

The PSE had a record number of initial public offerings (IPOs) in 1994 when 21 companies made their stock market debut.

This year, there have been eight IPOs at the PSE, equaling the total for the entire 2021.

At least three more companies are expected to conduct IPOs this year. If realized, the PSE will end the year with double-digit IPOs, the first time since 1997.

Mr. Monzon said he is looking forward to the potential IPO of major companies, particularly payment platforms.

“What I’m hoping to see in 2023 is a big payment platform like GCash and PayMaya,” he said.

Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc., which operates GCash, earlier said it would consider an IPO only after it expands its services.

Analysts said the PSE’s target  of 20 IPOs next year is possible as the economic recovery is under way.

“Yes, it is possible, as the economy has already further reopened towards greater normalcy,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

“Businesses or companies have become more decisive on new investments or expansion plans, as well as for the necessary funding/borrowing requirements to finance these, including through IPOs or share sales in the local stock market,” he added.

AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said in a Viber message more companies might raise funds through stock offerings as interest rates rise.

“Economic conditions may take a while to recover and will affect investors’ appetite for risk assets like equities. However, with rising borrowing costs, we should see more companies looking to raise capital by issuing shares,” he said.

Sun Life Investment Management and Trust Corp. President and Chief Investment Officer Michael Gerard D. Enriquez said he is bullish on the PSE index, which he expects to end the year at the 7,600 level.

“Obviously, the economy is recovering with first-half earnings results continuing to be strong. I think it will continue through the rest of the year,” he said.

Retail investors at the bourse rose amid a coronavirus pandemic.

The PSE said online investor accounts rose by 24% year on year to 1.16 million in 2021. These online investors were responsible for 75% of total trades in the stock market, with the value of online trades surging by 44% to P744.5 billion.

The PSE is hoping to add more than nine million new investors with its partnership with GCash, wherein subscribers can use the mobile payment platform to invest in the stock market. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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