CEBU AIR, Inc., the listed operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific, announced on Monday that 328.95 million of its convertible preferred shares with a par value of P1 per share are now ready to be traded on the main board of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

“Despite the numerous challenges that airlines are currently facing, Cebu Pacific was able to raise approximately P12.49 billion ($256 million) from existing shareholders,” Cebu Air said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday.

The listed company added that the success of its fund-raising activity is “reflective of the belief that shareholders have, not only in the long-term prospects of Cebu Pacific, but also its vital role in the economic recovery of the Philippines.”

The company has said the amount raised would help it address financial liabilities, including repayment of an advance by JG Summit Philippines Ltd., aircraft operating lease payments, principal debt repayments, and passenger refunds, among others.

Cebu Air recently announced that its board approved a P16-billion, 10-year loan from local banks.

The loan would be used to fund its capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes.

The loan should also provide a cushion against “unexpected working capital requirements that may stem from fuel price and foreign exchange rate volatility,” Cebu Air said in an announcement.

Cebu Air shares closed 1.58% higher at P45 apiece on Monday. — Arjay L. Balinbin