MANILA : The Philippine stock exchange operator expects companies to raise 200 billion pesos ($3.6 billion) on the capital markets this year on a robust pipeline of listings and share sales, despite market volatility, its president said on Saturday.

Philippine firms, including renewable energy companies, are pursuing expansion plans this year, banking on an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the moment, we cannot hit the same record we did last year,” Philippine Stock Exchange president and CEO Ramon Monzon told reporters. “We are hoping that we can at least reach the 200 billion pesos level.”

Last year, a record 234.5 billion was raised through IPOs, including the record $1 billion listing of food maker Monde Nissin Corp, and the sale of existing shares, more than double the 104 billion pesos in 2020.

By the end of July, companies had raised 76 billion pesos on the stock market, with six initial public offerings (IPO) and follow-on share sales in the pipeline, PSE data show.

But the PSE is closely watching a potential postponement of share sales, as market volume and performance remain tepid, Monzon said.

The Philippines’ broader index has fallen 5.9 per cent this year, weighed down by a weak peso and elevated inflation, making it the region’s second-worst performer, following Vietnam.

($1 = 55.66 Philippine pesos)

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