25 March 2022, Makati City, Philippines – Celebrated annually for 17 years now, the PDS Annual Awards has hailed PDS members who have distinguished themselves over the past year, contributing to the growth and stability of the Philippine financial markets.
For the second time, the PDS Group decided once again to hold the awards ceremony virtually due to the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The decision to hold another virtual event came out of concern for the safety of our market participants and special guests.
This virtual awards ceremony was nonetheless memorable as we were able to celebrate the achievements of our market who successfully created value despite these trying times. Creating Value, the theme for this year’s annual awards was embodied by this year’s winners. PDS market participants have indeed remained strong and steadfast behind yet another challenging year. A total of 45 awards, ranging from depository, custody, and settlement, to fixed income market categories were recognized in the virtual awards ceremony.
The celebratory evening began with a message from PDS Group President and CEO Ramon S. Monzon. In his welcome remarks, he said: “All of our Group initiatives have been with the continued support of our regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Both PDS and PSE have been active partners within the SEC’s Communication Advocacy and Network focused on increasing investor education and thereby improving awareness and their protection. The past year’s results are a testament to such regulator’s support for which we express our sincere gratitude.”
“Tonight, like previous awards nights, is still about our stakeholders and a celebration of community members’ performances trialed through the challenges that the past year posed yet nonetheless outstanding.”, added Mr. Monzon.
The Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Benjamin E. Diokno also graced the event and delivered a special message before awarding the depository, settlement, and custody awards. Gov. Diokno acknowledged the growth of our economy since the pandemic struck and affected many individuals whilst reminding everyone of what is expected of them. He said: “By now, we are seeing bright spots that suggest that the economy is on its way to recovery. The economy grew 5.6 percent in 2021, higher than government estimates and market expectations. Unemployment dropped to a low of 6.4 percent in January 2022 as businesses opened and adjusted to the new economy. Several other indicators, from mobility indices to manufacturing activities, suggest that full recovery is well on its way.”
“Our goal is not only to regain what was lost to the pandemic, but to embark on a more sustainable path of development.”, further stated Gov. Diokno.
After hearing the insightful messages of Mr. Monzon and Gov. Diokno, the depository, settlement, and custody awards were announced where BDO Securities Corporation, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Bank of China Limited, Manila Branch, and Security Bank Corporation took the top spots in their categories.
The Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Emilio B. Aquino then shared some insight with all the attended. “We at the SEC encourage a digitalized work environment as we also develop and promote systems and systems and portals for easier access and processes”, said Chairman Aquino as he commended the PDS Group for the Group’s digitalization initiatives for the past year.
“We laud the initiatives of the Group to digitalize its operations which will provide efficiency in the listing procedures, registry, and depository. This will encourage more issuers and investors to participate in our fixed income markets.”, further said Chairman Aquino.
“The amount raised from new corporate bond listings for 2021 was lower than previous years. However, during the start of 2022, PDEx has recorded its largest-ever issuance which is the BDO Sustainability Bonds amounting to PHP 52.7 Billion. It was followed by the RCBC Sustainability Bonds Due 2024 amounting to PHP 14.76 Billion. In addition, the fixed income market likewise surpassed its previous year’s growth. Government bonds accounted for 43.15% of the GDP while corporate bonds were at 7.33%.”, said Chairman Aquino as he looks forward to a better year ahead.
After Chairman Aquino’s message, the top performers in the Corporate Securities Awards were conferred to BPI Capital Corporation, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., China Bank Capital Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, and First Metro Investment Corporation.
Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc was awarded as the Top Traded Corporate Bond Issue for 2021 for their PHP 10 Billion Fixed Rate Bonds due 2025, the same issue which also won them the award the previous year. At the same time, a special citation was also awarded to Ayala Land, Inc. for being the first issuer to use the electronic Securities Issue Portal (e-SIP) for its pre-listing and registry onboarding activities. The e-SIP, which was launched in May 2021 has since been utilized by ten (10) corporate issuers for eleven (11) listings since ALI’s pioneering utilization.
Subsequent to the honoring of the Corporate Securities Awards was another special message for the evening from the National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon. In her message, Hon. De Leon said: “For the past two (2) years, our financial system has proven itself resilient in tackling the difficult circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, the Bureau of the Treasury the value of providing pandemic-friendly digital services to respond to the growing sophistication of Filipino investors and thereby embraces innovative structures that will continuously support the National Government’s financing efforts to realize the much-needed projects for economic recovery and sustainable growth.”, said Hon. Treasurer de Leon in her informative message.
The Honorable Treasurer De Leon then honored the awarding of the Government and Corporate Securities Awards where AFS Philippines, Inc., Philippine National Bank, China Banking Corporation, and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. held the number one (1) sports in their respective categories.
The main highlight of the evening was the awarding of the PDS Annual Awards’ highest honor, the Cesar E.A. Virata Award – Best Securities House for both the Bank and Investment House Categories. This Year’s Cesar E.A. Virata Awards were presented to China Banking Corporation for the bank category and First Metro Investment Corporation for the Investment House Category.
PDS Group Chairman Emeritus Hon. Cesar E.A. Virata closed the awards ceremony with a special message. “I congratulate all the winners tonight for contributing to the healthy development of the Philippine Capital Market despite the effects of the pandemic on the business sector and the investors both in the equity and fixed income markets.”, remarked Hon. Virata.
“Having been involved in the corporation of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. and the Philippine Dealing System Corp. and Subsidiaries, I can see the unification of our Philippine Capital Market exchanges. I am glad that we are providing more investors to participate directly in the growth of our economy.”, said Hon. Virata as the event neared its close.