ANALYSTS are expecting more firms to tap the capital markets for their fund-raising activities in tandem with the country’s economic recovery story.

“We expect more companies to go public as economic outlook improves,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said in an e-mail on Dec. 29.

“We expect companies to capitalize on the recovery story by raising capital to strengthen their balance sheets and improve their ability to take on more debt for expansion plans,” he said.

According to a statement from the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) on Friday, companies raised a record P234.48 billion at the stock market in 2021 via eight initial public offerings (IPOs), 11 follow-on offerings, four stock rights offerings, and eight private placements.

The local stock market broke its 2012 high of P228.33 billion, despite the pandemic.

“I believe this is because of optimistic expectations,” Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco, senior research and engagement supervisor at Philstocks Financial, Inc., said in a virtual call on Dec. 29.

“Businesses are already looking forward to the years beyond so I think they’ve already fully priced in the pandemic, its effects or its impact on the economy,” he added.

The bourse operator also noted the surge in retail investor participation with 31.1% in 2021, higher than the 26.9% seen in 2020 and 18.2% in 2019.

Daily average value turnover also rose 22.5% to P9 billion from last year’s P7.35 billion.

“As early as now, several companies have expressed interest in being listed as early as the first quarter of next year,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in an e-mail on Dec. 28.

Haus Talk, Inc. is set to be the first company to brave the stock market’s small, medium, and emerging (SME) board in 2022, with a listing date tentatively set on Jan. 17 under the stock symbol “HTI.” The company’s offer period will run from Jan. 3 to 7.

Meanwhile, Figaro Coffee Group, Inc. will hold its offer period from Jan. 10 to 14, while its listing on the main board of the PSE is scheduled on Jan. 24 under “FCG.”

Citicore Energy REIT Corp., Bank of Commerce, and CTS Global Equity Group, Inc. are waiting for regulatory approval for their respective public offers, while Balai ni Fruitas, Inc. has expressed intention to list on the SME board of the PSE.

China Bank Securities’ Mr. Mercado said a better COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) situation, continuing economic growth momentum, and eased restrictions would help boost market sentiment.

“IPO performances will depend on the fundamentals of the company that’s going to get listed,” Philstocks Financial’s Mr. Tantiangco said.

“It will depend on the historical financial performance that it has, it will depend on its direction, it will depend on its prospects, and most importantly, it will depend on its pricing,” he added. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte