SEC to probe PLDT budget overrun issue; trading losses


Posted at Dec 20 2022 09:00 AM

MANILA - The Securities and Exchange Commission said it is closely monitoring and conducting its own investigation on PLDT's budget overruns of about P48 billion from 2019 to 2022.

"The SEC has ordered PLDT to clarify its disclosures to the Commission and The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE), in relation to statements attributed by the media to the company and its officers, especially with regard to the nature of the P48 billion expenditure," the SEC said in a statement.

"The SEC, through its Markets and Securities Regulation Department, will closely monitor the investigation and will continue to conduct a parallel, independent inquiry into the matter to safeguard the interest of the investing public," it added.

PLDT earlier said it is undergoing reorganization after the overrun was discovered. It said its main business units - Wireless, Home and Enterprise - were not affected. 

PLDT shares plunged nearly 20 percent on Monday.

"The reported 'budget overruns' as well as the selloff in PLDT shares before the publicly listed company could make the official disclosure, are areas of concern for the Commission, being the regulator of the securities market and the champion of investor protection in the country," the SEC said. 

"In this light, the SEC has immediately commenced an inquiry into the matter," it added.

The SEC said it has also directed the PSE and the Capital Markets Integrity Corp to submit initial reports on their investigations of trading activities that have resulted in the "sudden and sharp decline" in the share prices of PLDT even before the official disclosure of the budget overrun.

PLDT, along with its wireless arm Smart Communications, has an aggregated capital expenditure of P379 billion from 2019 to 2022. It said capex for 2023 will remain elevated.


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