(02 April, Pasay City, Philippines) SM Investments Corporation (SM) reached out to retail investors in maiden non-deal domestic roadshow held recently in Cebu, Davao and Manila.
The roadshow is an initiative of the company’s investor relations which runs in line with the company’s good governance practices by keeping investors and the markets informed and updated on developments within the SM Group. This is part and parcel of SM’s responsibility as a publicly-listed company.
The roadshow also aims to encourage investors to share in the company’s growth through investments in the stock market by providing investors wealth-building advice and strategies.
SM partnered with local broker COL Financial for its maiden retail roadshow entitled “Wealth Building Summit for the Filipino Investor, SMart Money through the Stock Market”. Over 1,700 investors attended the event during its three-day run from March 25 to 27 held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu, SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, Davao and SMX Convention Center in SM Aura, Taguig.
Speakers during the roadshow were also optimistic about the prospects of the Philippine economy which is a major factor in the growth of Philippine companies.
SM Chief Finance Officer Jose T. Sio told investors to study the company’s financial health. “In all these, look at the balance sheet and find a company that is healthy, liquid and that has a low gearing ratio. These are the companies that will grow regardless of the country’s economic cycles,” Sio said.
SM Senior Vice President for Investor Relations, Corazon P. Guidote told investors that the Philippine economy is at an “inflection point that offers much more growth opportunities across all sectors which will result in continued growth for the stock market. “We are excited as you are with all that the Philippines is experiencing. As such, we encourage you to invest in your country, and invest in your home-grown companies. Share in the dividends that you yourselves generate as a collective engine of growth for the companies that are listed on the Philippine stock market,” Guidote said.
For his part, Joel Litman, Chief Investment Strategist at Valens Securities, Inc. also said he is bullish on the long-term prospects of the Philippine economy. “I am extremely bullish on the Philippine economy, in terms of employment or growth of jobs, the banking sector, growth of middle market, and the growth of consumers,” he said.
To take advantage of this growth, Guidote urged investors to participate in the upside of companies through stock investments. “Don’t just be our shopper or our customer. Be the owner of some of the worlds’ largest malls, or the leading bank in the country, or Southeast Asia’s largest property company, or the largest copper producer in the Philippines, or the country’s most progressive holding company,” she said.
Timothy Daniels, Consultant for Investor Relations at SM also reiterated that the Philippines is a fast growing market. “We have three core investments in retailing, banking and property and these are being positioned for where the Philippines is going. We may be a leading player today but the Philippines is a fast growing market and it is still developing, it has so much more potential in all of the areas, especially in the core businesses that we are in,” Daniels said.
“Within the last couple of years, BDO raised 1 billion dollars making it a tremendously strong bank. In retailing, with moves like our investments in CityMalls, we are going to retain our lead, and in property, the merger last year is to position all property entities of the group to really become be the leading players as the property industry continues to grow,” Daniels said.
Guidote added that many foreign investors have profited from the stock market due to their long-term investment views saying that at the beginning of her career in the late 80’s there were just a handful of quality stocks listed in the market, while there were more speculative stocks. “But of the few quality stocks, foreign investors have already profited tremendously from the market because not only have they taken a long-term view of the market, they also had access to information that help them make good investment decisions. That’s because they deal with large institutional banks and stockbrokers which provide in-depth research and advice,” Guidote said.
Guidote added that SM’s share price for one, when it listed in 2005 was only the equivalent of less than P190. “Now it trades steadily at close to P700 per share, which over the 8 years (since I joined SM), yielded an average growth of about 35 percent per annum,” she said.
She said that more Filipinos should benefit from the growth of Philippine companies through their stock market investments. “Sadly, very few Filipinos benefited from that growth with volumes still dominated by large foreign funds. Our market capitalization is now US$12.5 billion. Of our free float of 42 percent, 36 percent is held by foreign funds. The same is true for SM Prime and BDO whose minority investors are mostly large foreign funds. This is why we are here today. It really is our fervent wish to have more Filipinos benefit from the growth of our companies,” Guidote said.
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For further information, please contact:
Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Tel. No. 857-0117
Wednesday, April 2, 2014