Philippine shares end lower on Monday

  • Business
  • Monday, 14 Mar 2005

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine shares ended lower Monday, as fund managers liquidated their holdings to raise funds for the initial public offering of holding group SM Investments. 

The benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index closed down 21.78 points, or 1 percent, at 2,115.61, after shedding 0.03 point Friday. 

All sectoral indicators finished lower. Decliners led gainers 74 to 24, while 45 stocks were unchanged. 

Blue-chip Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. was the most actively traded stock, down 1 percent at 1,455 pesos, in step with the 0.9 percent loss suffered by the company's American depositary receipts in New York Friday. 

Globe Telecom fell 2.2 percent to 905 pesos.DA Market Securities President Nestor Aguila said the excitement surrounding SM Investments prodded fund managers to sell some of their holdings to raise funds to participate in the public offer. 

The offer, which kicked off last week and ends Thursday, involves the sale of 115 million shares at 250 pesos each.  

It is the biggest in the market's 70-year history, with estimated gross proceeds of 28.75 billion pesos (US$532 million; euro396 million). 

Wall Street's losses Friday, triggered mainly by rising world crude prices, also prodded investors to take profit in select stocks, traders said. 

Another factor that weighed on the market was an ongoing standoff Monday at a Manila jail, where a suspected Abu Sayyaf militant in custody managed to grab a guard's rifle and fatally shot at least three prison officials. 

Aguila said if the situation remains unresolved and escalates, investors may use it as an excuse to continue selling shares in the next session. 

Other active stocks included SM Prime, down 1.1 percent at 8.70 pesos, Semirara, down 1.1 percent at 45 pesos, and Benpres, off 1.5 percent at 1.28 pesos. - AP

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