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Eton Properties to delist

Posted on October 23, 2012 11:53:36 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
BY FRANZ G. DE LA FUENTE, Reporter
   
ETON PROPERTIES Philippines, Inc., the property firm of tycoon Lucio C. Tan, will delist as it does not expect to comply with the Philippine Stock Exchange’s (PSE) 10% minimum public float rule by the end of the year.

“Please be informed that at the regular meeting of the board of directors of the company held today, Oct. 22, the board approved to voluntarily delist from the exchange in light of it’s [sic] inability to comply with the minimum public ownership requirement within the allowed grace period,” the firm said in a disclosure.

“The board believes that this is the best option at this time.”

Trading of Eton Properties shares was suspended from 9:00-10:00 a.m. yesterday in order to give investors sufficient time to digest the information.

Eton Properties, with a current public float of 5.65%, is one of 27 listed firms that has been ordered by the PSE raise their public ownership levels to a minimum of 10% by Jan. 1, 2013, or else face penalties leading to eventual delisting.

While a number of firms have moved to comply, others said they considering the delisting option. These include units of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., namely San Miguel Properties, Inc., San Miguel Pure Foods Co., Inc, and San Miguel Brewery, Inc., as well as flag carrier PAL Holdings, Inc., which is 49%-owned by San Miguel.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and First Metro Investments Corp. have also recently approved bids to delist, joining PLDT Communication and Energy Ventures, Inc. and Chinatrust Commercial Bank (Philippines), Inc. that already left earlier this year.

Eton Properties was incorporated in 1971 to engage in oil exploration and mineral development projects under the name Balabac Oil Exploration & Drilling Co., Inc. It eventually changed its primary purpose to a holding company.

Shares of Eton Properties sank by 9.94% or 36 centavos to P3.26 yesterday.
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