SEC expects 50,000 company registrations by end of 2023

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it hopes to tally 50,000 new company registrations by the end of the year after exceeding its 2022 total.

“From the 22,000 level in 2020, we went up to 37,000 (in 2021). Then it was like 43,000 last year; now we are expecting that we’ll get 50,000,” SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino said on the sidelines of the SEC 87th Anniversary event on Friday.

Mr. Aquino said that the 50,000 target for the year is double the number of registrants recorded before the SEC embarked on a digital transformation campaign in 2021.

“I am proud to report to you that our company registration reached a record 42,973 by the end of October,” Mr. Aquino said.

He said that the 10-month total exceeded the full-year total of 42,926 in 2022.

“It’s very important to consider that the SEC is the gateway to doing business in the country, so we have been pushing digital transformation and it has been bearing fruit for us,” Mr. Aquino said.

“We want to help especially those who got hit heavily during the pandemic. Now, they have this chance to put up their businesses virtually as we are trying to make it easy,” he said.

NEW LISTINGSMeanwhile, SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee said it is targeting 15 new listings next year.

“There’s roughly around three or four that we are looking at already that are about to ripen. But we are targeting roughly 15 listings next year or so as we are aggressively trying to have them come in,” Mr. Lee said.

“This is also part of our project to break the 300 (overall listing level). Right now, we have roughly around 284-285 listed companies and Chairman Aquino has strongly suggested that we want to break 300,” he added.

Some of the companies that are listing soon are mining and fisheries companies, according to Mr. Lee.

“With all the streamlined systems that we are working on like the 45-day processing system, we are looking forward to them being able to list pretty quickly,” he said.

However, Mr. Lee said that the current market conditions are still affecting company listing decisions.

“Admittedly, the market conditions are not that ideal because of the high interest rate environment. However, that is beyond our control. What we can do is we can work on streamlining the processes as well as reducing some of the fees,” he said.

He added that the SEC is looking at discussing with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) ways to improve the listing environment.

“We can’t force them to list,… but what we can do is to create a conducive environment to encourage them to list,” he said.

“I know for a fact that a lot of the underwriters have companies that want to list and a lot of them are preparing. They are just waiting for the ideal market conditions. I am very sure that once the market adjusts, a lot of initial public offerings will come out,” he said.

According to the PSE website, three new listings have been approved this year — Alternergy Holdings Corp., Upson International Corp., and Repower Energy Development Corp.

Neil Banzuelo

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