Bankers get edge over brokers in race for PSE top post

- Zinnia B. Dela Peña () - October 1, 2003 - 12:00am
Former bankers seem to have gained the upper hand against former stockbrokers in the race for the presidency of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

A PSE source said among the new names that have cropped up as possible replacement for PSE president Ernest Leung, whose term expires five months from now, include incumbent PSE director and former Philippine National Bank president Peter Favila, former Banco Santander president Vicente Castillo and former Finance Undersecretary Romeo Bernardo.

The source said Favila is being pushed by another PSE independent director while Castillo has the backing of a number of bankers. At this stage, the source said some brokers are already predicting a toss-up between Favila and Castillo.

"Favila has political savvy. He certainly knows what buttons to push. Castillo, on the other hand, has the network, expertise and the respect of the banking industry," the PSE source said.

Bernardo, on the other hand, is said to be not too keen on accepting the nomination.

The source said the exchange is now reviewing its guidelines on the selection of its directors to ensure transparency and plug the loopholes in its rules which have caused the rift among PSE members.

Apart from Favila, Castillo and Bernardo, other personalities being considered for the position are former PSE corporate secretary Francisco Villaroman, Antonio Garcia of A. Garcia Securities, and former JP Morgan Securities Phils. Inc. president Conrado Bate.

Bate was earlier tagged as an early favorite among PSE member-brokers and employees.

The source said certain PSE officials and broker-firms are proposing that the next president should be knowledgeable about the business or had been a broker.

The Securities Regulation Code requires that the president be a non-broker or someone who has not been associated with any broker firm for a period of two years prior to his/her appointment. This is to make sure that he/she represents the interests of issuers, investors and other market participants.

Leung assumed the presidency of the exchange in Dec. 2001, replacing Ramon T. Garcia.

ANTONIO GARCIA OF A BANCO SANTANDER CASTILLO AND BERNARDO CONRADO BATE ERNEST LEUNG FAVILA FAVILA AND CASTILLO FINANCE UNDERSECRETARY ROMEO BERNARDO FORMER FRANCISCO VILLAROMAN PSE
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