Cemetery operator Golden Haven debuts on PSE

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2016 10:45 AM | Updated as of Jun 29 2016 01:52 PM

MANILA – Cemetery operator Golden Haven Memorial Park Inc. sizzled on its debut on Wednesday as the Philippine Stock Exchange saw its first initial public offering for the year.

Shares of the company owned by tycoon and former senate president Manuel Villar jumped 41.71 percent to 14.88 pesos in noon trading. It had raised P778 million pesos from the sale of 74 million shares at P10.50 per share.

The company operates eight cemeteries across the country and plans to open four more, with each park occupying around four to eight hectares.

"Bear in mind, if we sell houses for the living, the living will also require houses when they die, there's a natural requirement. " Golden Haven CFO Roy Fernandez told reporters.

Fernandez said the memorial parks would be built close to the Villar group's residential projects.

The cemetery stock is a “defensive” investment, since death care is considered an essential, BPI Securities analyst Riche Lim told ANC’s “Market Edge with Cathy Yang.”

Lim said there was enough liquidity in the local bourse to accommodate the Golden Haven shares.

"Given the size of the IPO, I think there's enough liquidity in the system to absorb and more than enough demand for the stocks because it's been a while since we had the last IPO," he said.