SharePHIL in the News

3 Truths and Myths About Cryptocurrency in PH, According to BSP Governor Espenilla

By Lorenzo Kyle Subido (Entrepreneur Philippines) | 15 March 2018

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)’s policy stance towards cryptocurrencies in the Philippines has evolved alongside the spread and widening use of virtual money for transfers, payments and investment.

Referring to digital, decentralized and unregulated currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, cryptocurrencies are touted to disrupt traditional fiat or legal money as medium of exchange, unit of account and store of value.

As early as 2014, the BSP had already recognized cryptocurrencies’ presence in the Philippines, but it did so by warning the public against it. Among the five reasons it listed in a warning advisory dated March 6, 2014 were cryptocurrencies’ tendency to be used for “money laundering and other illicit activities” and how they were “a form of unregulated digital money.” Read more

The Shareholders Association of the Philippines

By John Mangun (Business Mirror) | 14 March 2018

This past Monday I attended an event hosted by the Shareholders Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL), titled “Cryptocurrency: The Truth & the Myth”.

The speakers included Nico Jose “Nix” Nolledo, chairman and CEO, Xurpas; Nichel Gaba, CEO, Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX); and Ephyro Luis Amatong, commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission. The keynote address was delivered by the Honorable Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor.

While following SharePHIL since its inception several years ago, I am skeptical of people with a “car and driver” looking out for the interests of other people that have to park their own cars. Of course, that is an unfair exaggeration, but experience teaches us that it is prudent to ask, “What’s in it for you?” or me for that matter. Read more

BSP, SEC caution public on cryptocurrencies

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla (Philippine Daily Inquirer) | 14 March 2018

While keeping an open mind to the growing popularity and usefulness of cryptocurrencies, Philippine financial regulators are watching out for risks that these digital tokens pose to the financial system and to investors who get sucked into the hype.

Cryptocurrencies or digital tokens are not likely to replace fiat money anytime soon, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in forum on cryptocurrencies organized by the Shareholders Association of the Philippines on Monday.

The BSP recognizes the huge potential of digital technology, including cryptocurrencies, which is an emerging medium of exchange globally. However, Espenilla urged the public to take caution against unscrupulous parties perpetrating pyramid schemes in the guise of initial coin offerings. Read more

Beware of the short-swing profits rule!

By Francis Lim (Philippine Daily Inquirer) | 07 March 2018

In broad strokes, the short-swing profits rule provides that any profit realized by insiders of an issuer from the purchase and sale, or any sale and purchase, of any equity security of the issuer within any period of less than six months, unless such security was acquired in good faith in connection with a debt previously contracted, shall inure to and be recoverable by the issuer (Section 23.2, Securities Regulation Code).

The insiders covered by the rule are officers, directors and beneficial owners or those holding more than ten percent of any class of any equity security of the issuer.

The short-swing profits rule is separate and distinct from the insider trading rule, which is governed by a different provision under section 27 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). Read more

Bitcoin too good to be true?

By Francis Lim (Philippine Daily Inquirer) | 18 January 2018

As of this writing, one bitcoin is already equivalent to $10,338. Late last year, it reached an all-time high of $19,783.06. Still, it was a meteoric rise from just $2.00 in December 2011.

The average daily volume of bitcoin is $40 million and its global market value is around $213 billion. In the Philippines, monthly trading volume is now estimated to be about $6 million from only $2 million in the previous year.

Indeed, bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is the newest buzzword in the market. We often hear of people making and losing tons of money on bitcoins within a single day of trading. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that bitcoin was down 25 percent and its rival cryptocurrencies, ripple and ethereum, sank as much as 40 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Read more

SharePhil asks SEC to investigate stock transactions of Calata officials

By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | 19 February 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines Inc. (SharePHIL), a group of minority stockholders in the country, has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate stock market transactions made by directors, officers, and other insiders of Calata Corp. (Calata).

Calata, founded by businessman Joseph Calata, is a distributor and retailer of agricultural products.

In a letter to the SEC dated Feb. 8, SharePHIL alleged that Calata did not disclose material information when it suffered a P126 million casualty loss caused by a typhoon in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“The casualty loss was not promptly disclosed to the public as required by the Securities Rules and Regulation (SRC) and disclosure rules of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), but mentioned only in Calata’s audited financial statements dated April 26, 2017 as part of its 2016 annual report and was disclosed to the public only on May 2, 2017,” SharePHIL said.  Read more

Probe Calata insider trading, SEC prodded

By Jenniffer B. Austria (Manila Standard) | 14 February 2018

The Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines Inc., a group that promotes and protects the rights of minority stockholders, asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate directors, officers and other staff of Calata Corp. for possible insider trading violations.

SharePHIL said in a letter to the SEC that Calata. which is engaged in the distribution and retailing of agrochemical products, feeds, fertilizers, veterinary medicines and seeds, failed to timely disclose it suffered a P126-million casualty loss caused by a typhoon in the fourth quarter of 2016 as required by the Securities Regulation Code.

“The casualty loss appears to have been disclosed only in Calata’s audited financial statements for 2016 dated April 26, 2017 and was posted in the disclosure system EDGE of the PSE only on May 2, 2017. During this period, persons connected with Calata’s management appeared to have unloaded their shareholdings unto the investing public,” SharePHIL said.  Read more

Hidden information, hidden action and the stock market

By Peter L. U (The Manila Times) | 13 February 2018

In 2001, George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for their work on asymmetric (or hidden) information and markets. Hidden information exists in a market when one or both parties in a transaction hold more or less information about the exchange than the other party. In his seminal paper, Akerlof used the second-hand (used) car market as an example. The seller of a used car normally has more information about his car (its defects and “warts”) than the prospective buyer because he uses it every day.

In many contexts, the presence of asymmetric information leads to the problem of hidden action or moral hazard. A classic context is a supervisor who can only monitor imperfectly the activities of a subordinate e.g. the latter is out in the field most of the time. The subordinate may be tempted to shirk or not exert full effort since it may be difficult to detect. Economists call this moral hazard, or also a principal-agent problem, since the supervisor (principal) faces a problem of how to get the subordinate (or agent) to act consistent with the principal’s interest.  Read more

Lessons from millennial corporate leaders

By Benito L. Teehankee (BusinessWorld) | 7 December 2017

In 2013, Time magazine called the millennials the “Me-Me-Me” generation and its cover declared that “millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists.” Not surprisingly, the age group helped make “selfie” into Oxford Dictionaries’ Word-of-the-Year that same year.

During a recent forum organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange, I spoke on the topic of “Millennials and the Future of Corporate Governance.” Reacting to my talk was a panel of millennials who gave me reason to doubt any simplistic characterization of this dominant group in today’s workplace.

I learned three main things by listening to the panel, which was ably moderated by Anna Licaros, country head of regulatory compliance at Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp. First is that investing in understanding millennials will pay off for business organizations. Secondly, the technology skills of millennials positively affect their views on corporate governance and transparency. Thirdly, millennials intuitively and profoundly understand the social obligations of business.  Read more

Millennials and corporate governance

By Benito L. Teehankee (The Manila Times) | 21 November 2017

A lot has been said about millennials, those born in the ‘80s and who came of age during the 21st century. While I don’t think it’s possible to generalize about such a big group of people, it is a fact that they grew up in a world quite different from their parents’; a world of instant access to information and the ability to broadcast (via social media) it through the internet, mobile communications, a more globalized economy, a geo-political landscape where the Cold War between market democracies and communist regimes has been replaced by tensions related to terrorism, and the frightening impact of climate change. As a result, they tend to be generally more informed of global developments, more empowered to find out things for themselves and to have an opinion about such things and to be more concerned about what goes on in the world.

The millennials have been entering the corporate boardrooms during the past decade, slowly but surely. Will more millennial-enriched boards improve corporate conscience for sustainability? My fearless forecast is that because of their greater exposure to global realities, millennials will contribute to better corporate governance in specific ways.  Read more

PH a fourth-world country?

By Francis Lim (Philippine Daily Inquirer) | 19 October 2017

The new president and chief executive of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Ramon S. Monzon, was the guest speaker in the recent annual general membership meeting of the Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL).

In the course of discussing his vision for the PSE, Monzon presented data which caught the ears and eyes of members.

According to Monzon, the PSE is “one of the oldest bourses in Asia” but now pales in comparison to much younger exchanges in the Asean region based on data as of the end of August 2017.

The PSE only has 269 listed companies compared to Bursa Malaysia (901), Singapore Exchange (753), Stock Exchange of Thailand (667), Indonesian Stock Exchange (555), Hanoi Stock Exchange (379) and Ho Chi Minh Exchange (340). Read more

PSE wants to operate electricity exchange

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla (Philippine Daily Inquirer) | 18 October 2017

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is asking the Department of Energy (DOE) to give it the mandate to operate the country’s spot electricity market, seen as a prospective win-win partnership for the local bourse and the deregulated local energy industry.

For the PSE, this is part of its dream to diversify its portfolio and maximize the use of its platform for other products beyond equities, PSE president Ramon Monzon said in a recent presentation to the Shareholders Association of the Philippines.

“Our long-term vision, our dream is that we will operate other exchanges. The PSE will just be one exchange,” Monzon said. Read more


BSP, SEC caution public on cryptocurrencies

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla (Philippine Daily Inquirer) | 14 March 2018

While keeping an open mind to the growing popularity and usefulness of cryptocurrencies, Philippine financial regulators are watching out for risks that these digital tokens pose to the financial system and to investors who get sucked into the hype.

Cryptocurrencies or digital tokens are not likely to replace fiat money anytime soon, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in forum on cryptocurrencies organized by the Shareholders Association of the Philippines on Monday.

The BSP recognizes the huge potential of digital technology, including cryptocurrencies, which is an emerging medium of exchange globally. However, Espenilla urged the public to take caution against unscrupulous parties perpetrating pyramid schemes in the guise of initial coin offerings. Read more

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