THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) on Thursday reported that around P122.46 billion were raised from the sale of primary and secondary shares in the first half of 2021.

This already exceeds the total amount raised at the local bourse in 2020 at P103.76 billion. The PSE earlier said that it is hoping to raise at least P200 billion at the local bourse this year.

“Capital raising activities at PSE continue to be robust and we remain optimistic that we will be able to hit our targets by yearend,” Ramon S. Monzon, president and chief executive officer of the PSE, said in a statement on Thursday.

There were two initial public offerings (IPO) during the period, two follow-on offerings, two stock rights offerings, and three private placements.

Meanwhile, there was also a boost in trading activity. Daily average turnover amounted to P8.96 billion for the first half of the year, posting a 21.9% growth year to date and 35.9% up year on year.

On the other hand, foreign funds logged a net selling worth P77.8 billion for the six-month period.

The benchmark PSE index (PSEi) closed at 6,901.91 on the last trading day of June, lower by 3.3% year to date. Meanwhile, the broader all shares index declined by 0.7%. Majority of sectoral indices posted gains, except for holding firms and property.

“On May 14, the PSEi slid to its lowest intraday level for the year at 6,080.94 but we have seen the main index recover since, testing the 7,000-mark intraday on June 16,” Mr. Monzon said.

“For the month of June, the benchmark index gained 4.1 percent month-on-month owing to increased investor confidence as more Filipinos get vaccinated,” he added.

Latest data from the government’s pandemic task force show that the country has so far administered 10,065,414 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines — 7,538,128 have received their first doses, while 2,527,286 have been fully vaccinated.

“If government can meet its target of vaccinating up to 70 million people by the end of the year or even get close to said target, the stock market could return to pre-pandemic levels in the near term,” said Mr. Monzon.

In the next month, the PSE will be conducting IPO marketing events for small and medium enterprises to encourage them to take advantage of relaxed listing rules and the stock market’s pandemic relief rule. It will also continue hosting its market education webinars twice a month for retail investors.

“PSE still has a lot of activities lined up in the next six months, including the launch of new thematic indices, data analytics platform, and revamped market education website,” Mr. Monzon said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte