AMID the challenging conditions encountered in 2023, the country’s stock market remains bullish in 2024 due to an improving business climate.
Philippine Stock Exchange president and chief executive officer Ramon Monzon anchored the local bourse’s optimism on higher gross domestic product growth, lower inflation and a possible reduction in interest rates “that will result in better corporate earnings, which in turn will propel our market to higher levels.”
“The Exchange will continue to introduce new products and push for new laws and regulatory reforms that will promote and encourage wider stock market participation and entice foreign investors back to our market. We will likewise continue to pursue our various initiatives to help and attract companies to list their shares in the Exchange,” Monzon said in a statement.
The PSE index closed at 6,450.04 points, down by 69.07 points or 1.1 percent on the last trading day of 2023. From January to December the main index decreased by 1.8 percent.
Daily average value turnover was at P6.09 billion, down by 16.5 percent from 2022’s P7.30 billion average.
The market registered P53.67 billion worth of net foreign selling versus the P68.05 billion net foreign selling in 2022.
Total capital raised from primary and secondary shares in 2023 amounted to P140.95 billion, 27.8 percent higher than the P110.29 billion raised in the previous year.
The PSE had three initial public offerings in 2023, while other capital-raising activities conducted this year included five follow-on offerings, five stock rights offerings and 11 private placements.
The local bourse’s market capitalization registered a 1.10 percent increase at P16.74 trillion from P16.56 trillion in 2022.
High company registrations
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered high company registrations in 2023, which it noted is a testament to the ease of doing business in the Philippines.
About 46,445 firms successfully registered using the SEC Electronic Simplified Processing of Applications for Registration of Corporation (eSPARC) from January to November 2023, surpassing the previous record of 42,936 for 2022.
SEC said more than a third or 39 percent of newly registered firms hailed from Metro Manila at 18,342. This was followed by Calabarzon at 7,217 (16 percent) and Central Luzon at 5,107 (11 percent).
Outside Metro Manila, the largest number of newly registered firms came from Central Visayas and the Davao Region at 3,443 (seven percent) and 1,969 (four percent), respectively.
The majority or 85 percent are from the service sector, with the wholesale and retail trade industry group registering 9,859 (21 percent) new firms, followed by other service activities at 9,756 (21 percent).
“The back-to-back record highs seen in 2022 and 2023 for company registrations prove that we are succeeding in making doing business easier in the Philippines,” said SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino, noting that the SEC has been seriously advocating for digital transformation to achieve efficiency and accessibility in the corporate sector for the past five years.
“As we start a new year, the SEC is ready to further take advantage of automated processes in place, as well as develop new systems, to ensure the smooth delivery of services to the transacting public,” he added.
Domestic stock corporations accounted for 74 percent or 34,140 of newly registered firms, indicating positive business sentiment.
A total of 9,727 or 21 percent are domestic non-stock corporations and 2,453 or five percent are partnerships, while the rest are foreign stock and non-stock corporations.
Of the newly registered firms, 36 percent, or 16,734 are domestic stock corporations with less than five incorporators, and about 14 percent are one-person corporations.