SM reaches out to retail investors


Posted at Apr 02 2014 10:51 AM | Updated as of Apr 02 2014 06:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The SM group recently reached out to retail investors in its maiden non-deal domestic roadshow held in Cebu, Davao and Manila.

The roadshow, an initiative of SM's investor relations, is aimed at keeping investors and markets informed of corporate developments.

SM partnered with local broker CitisecOnline for the maiden retail roadshow "Wealth Building Summit for the Filipino Investor, SMart Money through the Stock Market." There were over 1,700 investors who attended the events.

Speakers at the roadshow were optimistic about the prospects of the Philippine economy which is a major factor in the growth of Philippine companies.

"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," SM Chief Finance Officer Jose T. Sio said.

SM Senior Vice President for Investor Relations, Corazon P. Guidote said 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," she said.

Joel Litman, Chief Investment Strategist at Valens Securities, Inc., was also 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.

Guidote urged Filipinos to invest in the companies, through stocks.

"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.

Guidote noted that SM’s share price when it was listed in 2005 was 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.

Timothy Daniels, Consultant for Investor Relations at SM, noted 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 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.