ABS-CBN franchise woes may have 'chilling effect' on investors — Sen. Pangilinan

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 09:19 PM

MANILA - ABS-CBN's franchise woes may have a "chilling effect" on investors in the Philippines, Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Monday.

Pangilinan said that besides the ABS-CBN's 11,000 workers, the company's investors have also been affected by the moves to block the renewal of the network's franchise. 

ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak noted that the value of the company's stock has fallen sharply since 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte came to power. 

From a high of P59.40 per share in April 2016, ABS-CBN's stock price fell to as low as P15.40 per share in December last year. 

Katigbak estimates this wiped out P30 billion from the company's worth.

"Unfortunately in the last few years, your honor, have been quite painful for our shareholders, including our employee shareholders," Katigbak said in reply to a question from Pangilinan. 

Investors may become wary that other publicly listed corporations could "face a similar experience and lose billions," Pangilinan said. 

"And so this has an overall chilling effect not only for media organizations, hindi lamang sa ibang media organizations, kundi pati sa mga publicly listed na kompanya, na maaaring bumgasak ng bilyon bilyon ang halaga ng kanilang stocks dahil sa mga hinharap nilang pagsubok with government regulations," Pangilinan said.

(And so this has an overall chilling effect not only on other media organizations, but also for publicly listed companies, that their shares could shed billions because of the challenges they face with government regulations.)

ABS-CBN closed at P23 per share on Monday, 17 percent higher than its Friday close.