• By The Financial District


The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index declined today, losing more than it gained Wednesday, as foreign selling continued without let-up bugged by the continued silence of the PSE on its official action on the sale of unlisted and unissued shares of a high-flying mining stock, Abra Mining, closing at 6,545.17 points, down by 106.54 points or 1.60 percent.

Net foreign selling amounted to P551 million on foreign buying of P1.5 billion and foreign selling of P2.094 billion.

The lack of any official PSE move on the sale of more shares than listed has continued to worry investors due to more than a month of official silence from the stock market officials after the March 4 suspension of Abra Mining and the subsequent pronouncement from PSE president Ramon Monzon that a "white knight" is being eyed to lift Abra's suspension.

Millions in investments into the top-traded stock, which rose by more than 270 percent, have been frozen.

Many woeful stories have been trickling in from stockbrokers relative to the losses that many investors are now nursing after Abra Mining was later suspended.

But some foreign investors are expressing their dissatisfaction with the PSE, itself due to its failure to flag the sale of unissued and unlisted stocks and the lack of information on the Abra Mining affair.

As a result, foreigners have been selling their positions in the local stock market with BDO Unibank, the second top traded with value turnover of P346 million, of which P154 million came from foreign investors, as it closed at P101.40, down by 40 centavos after top traded Ayala Land, which had foreign selling of P128 million, was unchanged at P34.50. Market bellwether SM Investments lost a hefty 3.31 percent as it closed P33 lower to P965, while Dito CME, declined by 6 centavos to P10.98.

The holding firms declined the most, down by 2.47 percent, while the property subsector dropped by 1.79 points. All the other four indices were also down as foreign investors continue to unload their holdings due to the perceived lack of action from the PSE officialdom.

Value turnover was a little above P5 million with 89 shares as gainers, 110 as losers, and 54 shares unchanged.

Brokers believe that the PSE's continued silence on the Abra Mining affair will hurt the market now, especially, with the added uncertainty towards the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some investors believe that Monzon and the officials of the PSE have to address the issues surrounding the sale of unissued and unlisted stocks of Abra Mining since the issuance of the unlisted shares should have been flagged earlier with the mechanisms put in place before.

Questions on who is behind the sale of the unissued and unlisted stocks continue to occupy whispered discussions even as they cling to the hope that the Securities and Exchange Commission will finally come down from its perch and forthwith probe motu propio the whole affair.


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The Financial District®  2020