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PSE lifts trading suspension on PAL Holdings

MANILA, Philippines - The parent firm of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will resume trading of its shares today as the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has lifted the trading suspension on shares of PAL Holdings following its compliance to the minimum public ownership rule.

In a letter to the local bourse, PAL Holdings said it increased its public float to 10.22 percent in compliance with the 10 percent minimum public ownership requirement.

Specifically, PAL Holdings said it sold 2.41 billion new shares to private investors, who are unrelated to the company or any of its controlling stockholders, directors or officers.

Prior to the transaction, PAL Holdings had a public float of just 0.55 percent.

In January, the PSE suspended trading in numerous firms because of their failure to meet the required minimum public float.

This prompted several companies like Alphaland Corp. and Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc. to sell more shares to the public while companies like Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and San Miguel Brewery Inc. opted to exit the local bourse.

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On Tuesday, dormant listed firm Nextstage Inc. resumed trading given its compliance to the  PSE’s rules.

State-run Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. became the first local company to be delisted for non-compliance with the public ownership level after the June 30 deadline.

The minimum public float rule was intended to provide a fair and efficient facility for price discovery and ensure that sufficient liquidity exists.

On Wednesday, the 28-member European Union (EU) took PAL out of its aviation safety blacklist. The carrier plans to launch direct flights to popular European destinations like London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rome and Madrid.

Tobacco and liquor magnate Lucio Tan is planning to sell his majority stake in PAL to a group of investors. Prior to increasing its public ownership level, the Tan family held 51 percent in PAL while diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. owned the remaining 49 percent.

PAL is banking on the ongoing re-fleeting program involving the acquisition of fuel-efficient aircraft as well as the lifting of the ban to mount additional flights to EU and US, which will help the company return to profitability next year. – With Lawrence Agcaoili



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