Foreign ownership draft rules published

26 Mar 2013

Dow Jones Newswires writes that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines has published draft guidelines for establishing new foreign ownership rules covering industries such as utilities, real estate and telecommunications. The draft document is based on a 2011 Supreme Court ruling and comes after an earlier iteration of foreign ownership rules was widely criticised. It is understood that the revised guidelines, published on the SEC website Monday, seek to implement a Supreme Court ruling that ‘foreign ownership rules must apply to each class of a company’s shares, not just to total outstanding stocks’. Critics of the earlier proposals voiced concerns that any strict interpretation of the ruling in the courts could result in an exodus of foreign capital from the country. Specifically, the new, relaxed guidelines suggest that the determination of the balance between Filipino and foreign ownership of a company ‘shall be applied to both the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; and the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors’.