Shares higher; capital raised at PSE hit P42B in 1st quarter

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    Share prices ended up Monday, after a long break, as investors took to bargain hunting on thin trading.

    This developed as capital as the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) yesterday reported capital raised in the stock exchange in the first quarter of the year reached P41.63 billion, up 116 percent from P19.24 billion last year.

    The PSE index was up 52.05 points to 6,495.15, a 0.81 percent hike.

    The broader all shares index was up 23.17 points ot 3,947.46, a 0.59 percent hike.
    Gainers edged losers 117 to 85 with 48 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P5.36 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.635 to the dollar, down from 48.53 Wednesday last week.

    The currency opened at 48.55 and hit a high of 48.488 and a low of 48.64. Trading turnover reached $637.3 million.

    SB Equities Inc. said investors shrugged the government announcing a one-week extension of lockdown measures in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces on the back of a continued surge in fresh COVID-19 infections.

    “Investors took an unexpectedly strong US jobs report and local manufacturing PMI remaining above 50 for a third month positively,” it said.

    “Shrugging off concerns over the extension of strict quarantine measures and its hit to the economy, the PSEi managed to trade in the green all session, albeit on thin turnover with many regional markets shut,” it added.

    Most actively traded BDO Unibank Inc. was down P0.50 to P101.50. AC Energy Corp. was up P0.37 to P7.31. Ayala Land Inc. was up P0.15 to P34.50. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was down P0.50 to P34.50. MerryMart Consumer Corp. was up P0.02 to P5.46. Globe Telecom Inc. was down P40 to P1,840. PLDT Inc. was up P49 to P1,270.

    Meanwhile, the PSE said capital raising activities for the first three months of the year include one initial public offering (IPO), one follow-on offering, two stock rights offerings, and two private placements.

    Ramon Monzon, PSE president, expressed confidence that capital raising will get a boost once the PSE approves its amended listing rules, accelerating IPO listings at the PSE.

    “When approved, our proposed rules on Preferred Shares only listing and proposed revisions to the backdoor listing rules should also encourage more listings at the PSE,” he said.

    Average daily value turnover was up 64.6 percent for the period at P10.99 billion, compared to P6.68 billion in 2020. Foreign funds were net sellers worth P47.91 billion, up 55.1 percent from P30.89 billion last year.

    The PSE index ended the first quarter at 6,443.09, a 9.8 percent drop on a year-to-date basis.

    “Uncertainty about the pace of the country’s vaccination program which in turn affects the prospects of the country’s economic recovery has discouraged foreign investors from investing in the Philippine market. But we expect that once a good percentage of the population has been vaccinated, these investors will soon regain confidence in our economy,” Monzon said. Ruelle Castro