Viva Communications and the Wee family consider initial public offering

Two other companies, Viva Communications Inc. and W Group, plan to conduct initial public offerings (IPOs), depending on market conditions.

BDO Capital and Investments Corp. President Eduardo Francisco said the two companies are monitoring market conditions to determine the right time for their first stock offerings.

“These two IPOs are planned for this year. But the challenge right now is whether the market reception will be there. Will the local market be strong enough,” Francisco said.

“Everything is fluid at the moment. Bonds are easier, especially if they are in pesos, as interest rates rise. But for equity, sometimes even if you lower the price and the size of the IPO, investors are still not receptive,” he added.

The flagship index of the Philippine Stock Exchange is down 10.68% since the start of the year on fears of a possible global economic recession caused by rising oil and commodity prices.

Francisco said W Group, a leading developer of office buildings owned by the Wee family, also plans to go public through a real estate investment trust (REIT) offering.

W Group is the holding company behind properties such as W CityCenter, Citi Plaza and W Fifth Avenue, W Global City, W High Street and W Tower. Its office projects are located in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

The Wee family has expanded its business portfolio. It now operates in a wide range of industries, including algae and carrageenan, investments and real estate. Its main businesses include W Hydrocolloids Inc., Marine Resources Development Corp., Agro Commodities Export Inc., Jobs and Careers Inc. and First Marcel Properties Inc.

Meanwhile, Viva Communications, a film and entertainment company founded by Vicente del Rosario Jr., originally planned to go public in 2007. It however shelved plans amid the global financial crisis. .

Then in 2020, the company relaunched the IPO plan in time for the expansion of its content production. He postponed the plan again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philippine Stock Exchange Chairman Ramon Monzon said earlier that 2022 would be a record year for IPOs despite current market conditions.

During the first half of the year, eight companies made IPOs, namely Haus Talk Inc., Figaro Coffee Group Inc., Citicore Energy REIT Corp., Bank of Commerce, CTS Global Equity Group Inc., Raslag Corp., VistaREIT Inc. and Balai. ni Fruitas Inc. companies have raised a combined total of 62 billion pesos in fresh capital.

Three other companies have pending IPO applications — businessman Michael Cosiquien’s ORCA Cold Chain Solutions, port magnate Enrique Razon Jr.’s Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc., and gadget retailer Upson International Inc.

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