THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will strictly adhere to the 45-day processing of initial public offerings (IPOs) as it aims to boost the country’s capital market.

“We are looking at being stricter about our 45-day processing for IPOs because we want to make it easier and we want to streamline the structure and process for IPOs in the future,” SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee said during a recent media roundtable in Makati City.

“There are minimal IPOs right now because of the interest rate environment, but we are foreseeing that IPOs will be a lot once that settles. We want to make sure that companies are ready for it, and we want to make sure that processing is much faster than before,” he added.

According to Mr. Lee, the previous average processing time was “a bit beyond the 45-day period” due to exchanges in documents that prolonged the process.

“The average before, as what I understand, is a bit beyond the 45 days. Usually, that is because, from the experience of our departments… there is often a lot of exchange of documentation. The process of IPOs is getting longer as a result. We want to make it streamlined, we want to make it faster,” Mr. Lee said.

Mr. Lee said the SEC will issue the necessary documentation informing the public of its strict adherence to the 45-day processing time for IPOs.

“We will be strictly adhering to a 45-day processing period. Technically, it is still internal rules but we will have to let the public know. That is something we want to signal to the public, that we are looking at making things easier in terms of capital markets,” Mr. Lee said.

On Aug. 24, the SEC approved and adopted the improved procedure for the processing of registration statements. The procedure adheres to the 45-day period for reviewing and processing the filed registration statements, with the SEC emphasizing adherence to Section 12.6 of the Securities Regulation Code. The provision ensures a streamlined and expedited evaluation and approval process for the registration statements.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lee said another SEC initiative to boost the capital markets was the implementation of the transaction date plus two days (T+2) settlement cycle, which started on Aug. 24.

“In fact, there were some entities pushing to extend the Aug. 24 implementation date. But we set a hard line on Aug. 24. Everyone has to implement T+2 by Aug. 24 because we want to make sure that the changes will happen,” Mr. Lee said.

“We’ve been fairly open-minded on some of the changes that we want to make with regards to the capital markets,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave