SEC looks into complaints of unserviced REIT trade

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    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into complaints against stockbrokerages which failed to facilitate trade of real estate investment trust (REIT) shares last week after they failed to secure permits.

    The SEC said it is “currently gathering more information and assessing the situation.”

    Trading participants are required to satisfy a list of requirements to become eligible to trade REIT securities with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), pursuant to Sections 13 and 14 of the Amended REIT Listing Rules.

    The PSE issued a memorandum providing for the broker eligibility guidelines to trading REIT securities and started accepting applications from trading participants on July 15.

    Among the requirements are the recording of securities ownership of trading participants’ investors under a name-on-central-depository and for registered salesmen are to undergo the relevant training before they are allowed to deal in REITs.

    The PSE is yet to issue a statement on the matter.

    The PSE on August 13 saw its first REIT initial public offering with the listing of Ayala Land Inc.-sponsored AREIT Inc.

    The SEC meanwhile said it has issued new rules simplifying the process for accepting new investors in an authorized investment scheme called “onboarding” in the securities markets and mandating exchanges and other organized markets in the Philippines to have more independent directors and sectoral representatives.

    Based on the SEC’s memorandum circular 21, Series of 2020, individual investors with an aggregate investment of up to P50,000 will by allowed by the SEC to limit their documentary submissions to their complete name, birthdate, email address, residential/ business address, mobile and/or landline number, source of income, a copy of a verifiable identification card or document with photo, and a signature card, when opening investment accounts with SEC-accredited financial intermediaries (FIs) like stockbrokerage firms, and mutual fund companies among others.

    The SEC also released memorandum circular 20, Series of 2020, which provides that independent directors shall constitute at least one-third of the members of the board of directors of exchanges and other organized markets.

    The measure is part of the SEC’s efforts to promote good corporate governance and the protection of investors.

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