MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' most diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp may have to delist three of its subsidiaries, including flagship San Miguel Brewery Inc, from the local bourse if it fails to meet a minimum float requirement, its president Ramon Ang said on Friday.
The Philippine Stock Exchange has set a Dec. 31 deadline for companies to raise their free float to at least 10 percent in order to avoid penalties such as trading suspension.
"We are trying our best (to see) if we can comply with the minimum requirement, but if not we will go for voluntary delisting," Ang told reporters. "We are having a difficult time."
San Miguel Brewery, San Miguel Properties Inc, San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc are among more than two dozen firms that do not have enough shares floated.
For the three San Miguel firms to meet the 10 percent threshold would require issuance of $1.73 billion in new shares, according to Reuters' calculations.
Some firms which have free floats of less than 10 percent are preparing to sell shares in the next few weeks, while others are looking at an option to voluntarily delist.
If companies have not met the requirement by the end of this year, trading in their shares will be halted at the start of 2013, and forced delisting will follow if they fail to enlarge their free floats within the subsequent six months.
Shares in San Miguel Corp opened flat but fell 0.18 percent shortly after Ang's comments. Manila's broad market was up 0.56 percent on Friday.
San Miguel shares have fallen more than 5 percent this year, underperforming the market which gained nearly 22 percent.
Ang also said the company's previously announced plan to build an airport will probably cost $5 to 6 billion.