‘Ease requirements for MSMEs’

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Friday, May 16, 2014


WHILE he lauded the Philippine Stock Exchange for performing well and contributing to the growth of the economy, Vice President Jejomar Binay asked that the process of listing be made easier for micro, small and medium players.

Binay, who was the keynote speaker in yesterday’s Philippine Capital Markets Investment Conference, noted that the capital market participation seemed to favor only the large companies and wealthy individuals.

He urged the PSE to revitalize and ease listing requirements to make them less “tedious and complicated”. He also asked them to educate the SME sector so they can see listing their companies as an option to finance their expansion plans. Binay said the PSE should offer their assistance to interested participants and nurture the entry of early participants so they have a greater chance of succeeding.

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Binay told conference participants that allowing small players to share in the gains of economic growth is what true inclusion is.

Of 257 companies listed with the PSE, only three fall under the SME category.

PSE chief operating officer Roel Refran, interviewed after the speech, admitted they have screening criteria for companies to enlist to make sure these companies have a good track record and impeccable governance.

“Yes, there are a lot of requirements and documentation to be able to go through the listing process,” he said. However, he assured that the staff will make sure to guide those who want to go public so they can complete the process.

He said they are aware of these concerns and that to address this, they hope to educate the sector into having a better understanding of why these requirements are sought from them.

Access to capital

Refran said they are hoping to explain things that new players are fearful of.

“We are aware of the concerns raised by the SME sector and we take these concerns seriously,” he assured.

Binay said that although the Philippine development has “grown by leaps and bounds”, so much needs to be done to address poverty.

He said getting the SMEs to enlist will give the sector access to capital that they need to expand, which will provide more jobs. There was no reason for the rest of the country to wait for prolonged high levels of growth to be able to feel the benefits of the country’s gains, the vice president said.

Binay said forums such as yesterday’s conference provided avenues for people to learn how to participate and become part of the country’s growth.

New platforms for trading such as those being offered online also help the growing financially literate middle class, he added.

Yesterday’s conference had speakers from the National Economic Development Authority and private entities giving their views on the country’s outlook. The afternoon was reserved for breakout sessions on different topics such as the basics of stock investing, how to raise capital in the stock market, online trading and investing strategies.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2014.

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