At new BGC office, PSE finally opens unified trading floor

February 19, 2018 - 3:43 PM
The PSE held a closing bell-ringing rites in Makati on Feb. 15, 2018. BUSINESSWORLD

MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) finally has a unified trading floor today (Feb. 19), as it moves its operations to Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The PSE’s new office building, called One Bonifacio High Street, stands 26-storeys high with a gross leasable area of 30,000 square meters. The tower forms part of the Ayala Land Premier’s mixed-use estate along 5th Avenue corner 28th Street.

Plans to transfer to BGC to establish a single headquarters for the PSE started back in 2012, when the exchange inked a deal with Ayala Land, Inc. for the purchase of new office spaces in the rising financial district.

“As we move to our new office at the Bonifacio Global City, we shall embark on recording new history for the stock market and for our country,” PSE Chairman Jose T. Pardo said during the last closing bell at the Ayala Tower One trading floor.

Prior to moving to One Bonifacio High Street, the PSE had two separate trading floors located in the PSE Tektite Building in Ortigas Center, and Ayala Tower One in Makati City.

The PSE Tektite Building was occupied by traders of what was formerly the Manila Stock Exchange. Founded in 1927, the first equities market in the country originally held office in Insular Life Building on Plaza Cervantes, Binondo, Manila.

On the other hand, traders at the PSE Ayala were from the Makati Stock Exchange, which was established much later in 1963. These traders conducted their business at the Insular Life Building in Makati, before moving to the Ayala Tower in 1971.

While both exchanges traded the same stocks of the same companies, there were discrepancies in their prices, prompting then President Fidel V. Ramos to intervene and launch efforts to unite the two exchanges.

With this, the PSE was established on July 14, 1992. Five months later on Dec. 23, the Manila and Makati Stock Exchanges were merged as one. It is only today, however, that the two trading floors would be physically united under one roof.

“A united exchange has always been a goal and finally we have achieved it. Hopefully it will be more cost efficient,” Regina Capital Development Corp. President Marita Limlingan said.

Ms. Limlingan, however, noted that the two exchanges were already unified prior to the transfer through technology.
“Unification to me is more symbolic because are actually united through technology,” she said.

In preparation for the transfer of its offices to BGC, the PSE last week held the final ceremonial ringing of the closing bell at the Tektite and Ayala towers. The Ortigas offices were sold back to its developer, Philippine Realty and Holdings, Corp., while the PSE has yet to decide what to do with the Ayala offices.

“The move is symbolic of a move towards a united capital market. After the unification of the trading floors, the next step would be for PSE to complete its acquisition of the PDS group which would result in a one-stop market for various financial assets,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said.

Aside from transferring to a new headquarters, the PSE is also working on its merger with the Philippine Dealing Systems Holding Corp. The move is seen to further strengthen the country’s capital markets as it achieves synergies in operations.