PLDT: Smart compliant with listing obligations

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - PLDT Inc. said yesterday that its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. has complied with the listing obligation in relation to the renewal of the latter’s legislative franchise.

 “Our position regarding this listing obligation contained in the original Smart franchise has been consistent, i.e. that the listing obligation has been complied with when PLDT Inc., a listed company with a public float of over 50 percent, acquired 100 percent of Smart Communications in March 2000. As such, Smart is effectively owned by PLDT shareholders,” PLDT said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Smart was granted a 25-year legislative franchise through Republic Act 7294 in 1992.

The franchise is set to expire on March 17.

Last week, Sen. Grace Poe who chairs the Senate committee on public services, recommended the approval of House Bill 4637 which seeks to extend the legislative franchise of Smart for another 25 years, taking into account Senate Bill 1302.

The Senate-endorsed measure retains the requirement under the original franchise that Smart must undertake a public offering of 30 percent of its authorized capital stock.

The House version of the measure has dropped such requirement by adding the phrase “unless the grantee is wholly owned by a publicly listed company.”

As such, the House version exempts Smart from the mandatory initial public offering.

“We have retained the original wording in RA 7294 which mandates the public listing of Smart’s shares of stock. During the hearings, we have emphatically conveyed to the Securities and Exchange Commission the sense of the Senate that it must enforce this provision of the law and that any failure on the part of the grantee to comply must be penalized,” Poe said earlier.


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