Converge ICT closes market debut as 2nd worst loser

MANILA. Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III (center), Converge ICT CEO Dennis Anthony Uy (left) and Philippine Stock Exchange president Ramon Monzon lead the bell-ringing ceremony on Oct. 26, 2020 to mark the listing of Converge ICT on the stock market. (Carlos Dominguez III's Twitter)

FIXED broadband provider Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions Inc. (Converge ICT) ended its trading debut at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, as the second worst loser.

Converge ICT shares closed at P15.22 apiece, 9.4 percent lower than the P16.78 opening price.

The top loser was Keppel Philippines Properties Inc., whose share price went down by 11.01 percent to close at P3.07 from the Oct. 22 closing price of P3.45.

Converge ICT held the second initial public offering (IPO) in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a statement, the company said it raised P29.1 billion, including shares for overallotment option, in the “largest ever IPO in the Philippines in peso terms.”

MerryMart Consumer Corp. of tycoon Edgar Sia II was the first company to make an IPO in the midst of the pandemic, raising P1.6 billion in fresh capital in June 2020.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who was among those who led the bell-ringing ceremony to mark Converge ICT’s listing, said the planned telecommunications infrastructure expansion of Converge ICT will significantly contribute to the country’s strong economic bounce-back from the pandemic and quicken transition to the digital-based new economy.

He said the company’s listing on the PSE is a “strong vote of confidence in the economy’s capacity to bounce back strongly after the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I encourage Converge to use the proceeds of this public offering to continue investing in network improvements to serve more Filipinos nationwide,” Dominguez said.

“We will count on your company to help us bridge the digital divide as we purposely move forward to a new economy,” he added.

Dominguez said Converge’s IPO is timely as it will provide the company with the means to rapidly upgrade its equipment and improve its operations at a time of fast-rising demand for digital services.

“At this moment, digital technologies have never been more important in our lives. Now, more than ever, we have become heavily reliant on fast and dependable internet services,” Dominguez said.

At this time when quarantine measures remain in place, he said the entire nation “relies on services that companies like Converge offer to continue our youth’s education, save enterprises, and retain and create jobs for the Filipino workers.”

The pandemic has also highlighted the need to accelerate the shift to digital and cashless transactions, Dominguez said.

Aside from Dominguez, Converge ICT founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy and PSE president-CEO Ramon Monzon also rang the bells at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) trading floor in Taguig City to mark the company’s listing on the main board of the bourse.

They were joined by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Emilio Aquino, Converge co-founder and president Grace Uy and PSE chief operating officer Roel Refran. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)


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