Philippine Digest: SEC to draft ICO rules; RCBC eyes $291m rights offer

PSE ICO RCBC
Stacks of bitcoins sit near green lights on a data cable terminal inside a communications room at an office in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission said it is drafting the guidelines for initial coin offerings in the country instead of totally banning the fundraising activity. Listed lender RCBC, on the other hand, seeks to raise Php15 billion in a stock rights offer.

SEC drafting ICO rules

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is comparing notes with regulators in other countries as part of efforts to draft the guidelines for companies seeking to conduct initial coin offerings (ICOs), the BusinessWorld reported.

SEC Commissioner Emilio B Aquino, head of the Enforcement and Investor Protection Division, was quoted as saying that the new guidelines could be released within the year.

Aquino stressed that the SEC is still looking at coin offerings and how it would benefit the public even as other countries had outrightly banned ICOs. The SEC, he added, is not altogether banning ICOs as long as companies are able to comply with the guidelines and that investor protection issues are duly addressed.

Last week, the SEC issued a cease-and-desist order against the ICO of Krops, an online marketplace for farm produce led by businessman Joseph Calata. The CDO was also slapped against affiliates Black Cell Technology Inc., Black Sands Capital Inc. and Black Cell Technology Ltd for failing to register the securities with the commission.

RCBC seeks to raise Php15bn in stock rights offer

Philippine-listed lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has informed the Philippine Stock Exchange that it has received board approval to conduct a stock rights offer (SRO) to raise up to Php15 billion ($291 million) in fresh capital.

While its current capital ratios are above the requirements of the central bank, RCBC expects the proceeds of the SRO to further strengthen its capital ratios under the Basel III standards and to support its asset growth.

“RCBC also intends to use investments in technology to improve customer experience, broaden customer base, and increase operational efficiency,” the lender disclosed.

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