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PSE to get P1.55-B loan for PDS acquisition

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) will be taking a loan totaling P1.55 billion to fund its acquisition of the Philippine Dealing System Holdings, Corp. (PDS group) as well as its capital requirements.

The PSE disclosed on Thursday its board of directors approved the obtainment of the one-year loan, of which P1.15 billion will be used for the purchase of the remaining shares it needs to close its deal with the operator of the fixed-income bourse. The other P400 million will finance the PSE’s fit-out and capital requirements for a year.

The company said it may obtain the loan from any of the three banks: BDO Unibank, Inc., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., and the Bank of Commerce.

The PSE is currently in the midst of merger talks with the PDS group, where it looks to consolidate the trading floors of the two capital markets under one entity.

So far, the PSE has already bought 23.8% of the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines’ shares in the PDS group last June for P476.45 million. Its purchase of 500,000 common shares in Whistler Technologies Services, Inc. was priced at P160 million last July, while its buyout of the Investment Houses Association of the Philippines’ 0.5831% this August was valued at P11.66 million. 

The acquisition of 100% of the PDS group, meanwhile, is valued at P2 billion, based on its equity value.

By end-August, the company has managed to hike its stake in the PDS group to 53.36%, from the original 20.98% it had at the start of the year. This brings it closer to the 67% target it earlier stated.

The PSE reported its first half attributable profit stood at P220.55 million, lower by 26% than the P299 million it recorded in the first semester of 2016. Revenues meanwhile stood at P662.53 million for the six-month period. 

Shares in PSE climbed 0.68% or P1.6 to close at P237.60 apiece on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia

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