THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is expecting the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) to reach a record this year.

To date, the PSE has received eight IPO filings, matching the number for the whole of 2021. Three more companies are expected to submit their documentary requirements before the end of the year.

Ramon Monzon, PSE president and chief executive officer, said the record number of IPOs expected this year is companies turning to the investing public to finance their pandemic recovery plans in light of the upward trend in interest rates as the global economy fights inflation.

"At this time of high-interest rate regime, selling shares to the public is a more viable option than taking out loans. It helps that we relaxed our listing rules last year and the government repealed the IPO tax under Republic Act No. 11494, also known as the 'Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,' or Bayanihan 2," said Monzon.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also approved the amendments to PSE's consolidated listing and disclosure rules in March 2021.

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The amended rules include time-bound relief for 2021 and 2022 IPOs. This provision would allow the PSE to check the applicant's profitability for two of the three most recent fiscal years, excluding the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monzon said some businesses are not eligible to list because they do not meet all of the listing requirements for the small and medium enterprise board of the PSE.

"We want the stock market to be accessible to these businesses and give them equal opportunity to raise capital through equity financing, especially if they are profitable and have rosy growth prospects," said Monzon.

The PSE is conducting the Road to IPO 2022 on Sept. 15, 2022 to help prospective listing candidates in their upcoming IPO journey.

The goal of the virtual event is to give business owners insight into the strategic advantages of becoming a publicly traded company and to learn directly from IPO deal team members on how to get ready for a first-ever share offering.

"Through this forum, we want to demystify the IPO process and simplify what is seemingly technical about going public with the help of speakers that have conducted their own IPOs and those who are tapped by companies to help them in their IPO journey," explained Monzon.