26 March 2021, Makati City, Philippines – Celebrated annually since 2006, the PDS Group Awards Night has hailed PDS members who have distinguished themselves over the past year, contributing to the growth and stability of the Philippine financial markets.
This virtual awards ceremony was especially memorable as we were able to celebrate the achievements of our market who forged on through adverse conditions and collectively set annual milestones in both primary market activity at PHP 387 Billion, and secondary market activity at PHP 6.13 Trillion.
Strength in Adversity as this year’s theme is reflective of our market participants’ resilience amidst the Covid-induced market. A total of forty-four (44) awards ranging from depository, custody, settlement, to fixed income market categories were received virtually by twenty-nine (29) top-performing institutions.
The evening began with PDS Group President and CEO Ramon S. Monzon delivering his welcome remarks. “Not being able to receive the trophy in person does not lessen the prestige of the award we are giving out. In fact, the awards tonight probably have a bit more prominence because it represents deals and transactions done in a year characterized by economic turmoil and immense uncertainty. While the amount raised from corporate bond issuances have been on an uptrend, the record PHP 387.83 Billion in issuances and listing in 2020 is a testament to the confidence of institutional and retail investors to the stability of the financial markets.”, concluded Mr. Monzon.
The Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Benjamin E. Diokno also graced the event through a recorded message. Gov. Diokno congratulated the PDS Group for having organized this virtual event as well as all the awardees for successful leadership and innovation throughout these trying times. He further reminded all the attendees to take note of all the lessons to be learned throughout the pandemic. Gov. Diokno remarked: “We should not let this unprecedented crisis go to waste. Let’s learn from it. Let us all continue to discover and tap into our inner strengths. Our shared fortitude as a nation will enable us to withstand all adversities and come out of this pandemic as economic champions”.
After 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 delivered his message. “Amidst this ongoing challenge and the continuous evolution in the markets globally, we are positive, and we look forward for further initiatives as well as the continuing involvement of every participant to help advance our debt market to become to become a more buyable investment destination, as well as continue to be among the fastest growing bond market in the region.”, said Chairman Aquino before honoring the top performers in the Corporate Securities Awards.
The top performers in this category were conferred to Amalgamated Investment Bancorporation, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank), BPI Capital Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, and First Metro Investment Corporation.
Notably, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc was awarded as the Top Traded Corporate Bond Issue for 2020 for their PHP 10 Billion Fixed Rate Bonds due 2025. Meanwhile, the Bank of the Philippine Islands was given a Special Citation for their BPI COVID Action Response (CARE) Bond where proceeds were used to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Following the honoring of the Corporate Securities Awards was a very encouraging message from the National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon. In her message, Hon. De Leon said: “This era of the Covid-19 pandemic will always be remembered of its devastating effects on public health and the country’s economy. But those of us in the financial industry will also look back at this time of how we demonstrated strength against such adversities and how we transformed opportunities into significant innovation in our reality”.
The Honorable Treasurer De Leon then honored the awarding of the Government and Corporate Securities Awards where Union Bank of the Philippines and Metrobank held the top positions in their respective categories.
The PDS Annual Awards’ highest honor, the Cesar E.A. Virata Award – Best Securities House, was presented to Metrobank (Bank Category) and BPI Capital Corporation (Investment House Category) – accolades they have held for eight and five consecutive years respectively.
PDS Group Chairman Emeritus Cesar E.A. Virata closed the awards ceremony with a special message where he encouraged the award-winning institutions to strive for further growth in our capital market. “I’m very sure that the present institutions will follow all the regulations for a transparent and up to international standards. We also have the duty to educate our investors and our brokers to be able to show the best choice of investments in terms of debt capital or in equities. Our institutions should also be innovative enough to create new products and create new markets not only for the Philippine market but also to invite foreign investments in our securities. I really hope we can improve and develop further the Philippine Capital Market so we will not be too dependent on financing from banks.”, said Honorable Chairman Emeritus Virata.