AT PSE: New round of share buyback eyed

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    Whittling down. Brokers now only have a 23.8 percent stake in the PSE.
    Whittling down. Brokers now only have a 23.8 percent stake in the PSE.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange eyes a new round of share buyback in lieu of issuing non-voting preferred shares as part of its compliance to cutting broker shares down to 20 percent.

    This follows the P445-million share buyback the PSE completed last month, according to Ramon Monzon, PSE president.

    Monzon said brokers combined now only have a 23.8 percent stake in the PSE, down from 26.44 percent in March.

    Monzon said the PSE plans to talk to more brokers to sell more of their stakes as the original plan of issuing non-voting preferred shares will not push through.

    “(This is what we call)l a directed buyback of shares. Basically, we’re telling the brokers, PSE is willing to buy the shares of brokers at a certain price,” said Monzon.

    Monzon said the problem arose from the ability of preferred shareholders to still vote on “certain” corporate matters that include approval for incurring of debt while not qualified to vote fro the composition of the PSE’s board of directors, which the Securities and Exchange Commission thumbed down.

    The PSE only need to buy about 0.34 percent, or 900,000 to one million PSE shares from brokers, to address the ownership cap.

    “I have a deadline that by the end of the year we should be compliant so we can move forward with our plans,” said Monzon.