SEC to impose 20% minimum public float next month

November 22, 2017 - 6:48 PM
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File photo of the Philippine Stock Exchange index. (Interaksyon/File photo)

MANILA – In a bid to attract more investments into the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will double the minimum public float requirement for companies planning to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) to 20 percent starting next month. This means at least 20% of issued and outstanding shares of firms planning for maiden listing on the bourse must be freely available and tradable.

“SEC has approved the rules for the minimum public offering for IPOs so the requirement (is) if there is an IPO coming forward, the minimum public float must be 20 percent,” said SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong in a press briefing Tuesday.

SEC director Vicente Graciano Felizmenio Jr. said investors, especially the institutional fund managers, welcomed the move to increase the minimum public float requirement.

“The higher the public float, definitely we expect more liquidity. And more liquidity means that we are more attractive to investors, especially the institutional ones,” he said.

“And looking at the threshold within the region, you are looking at 30 percent to 35 percent. The 20 percent is most welcome; they (investors) are concerned of going after the threshold,” he added.

Felizmenio said the Commission has yet to decide whether to further increase the public float requirement for companies in the process of going public.

Public float of a company refers to the portion of the issued and outstanding shares that are freely available and tradable in the market. These are non-strategic in nature or those not meant for the purpose of gaining substantial influence on how the company is being managed. The minimum public ownership (MPO) of a company shall be measured by its minimum public float.