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Regulator fines Philippine Stock Exchange over disclosure violation

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined the Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. for making "inaccurate and misleading information" over the portion of its shareholding held by dormant brokers.

The SEC said in a March 23 release it fined the exchange 106,000 pesos in relation to its disclosure of dormant brokers' share ownership in the PSE. In February, the exchange said it will launch a stock rights offer to reduce the stake held by brokers to below 20%, which is the ceiling for a single industry's ownership in a stock exchange.

The regulator however said PSE excluded inactive brokers in its computation, violating an earlier direction instructing the company to include such companies till they amend their articles of incorporation to exclude brokering as part of their activities.

Further, the SEC added, even with the stock rights offering, the brokerage industry's shareholding in the exchange will stand above the allowable threshold at 22.05%.

The PSE has till April 2 to pay the fine. It said in a filing it will seek a reconsideration of the decision, adding in a separate release its shareholding attributable to brokerages will total 21.71% following the stock rights offer.

As of March 23, US$1 was equivalent to 52.54 Philippine pesos.