SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) is delaying the issuance of P60 billion worth of commercial papers, as Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine until mid-April due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange Friday, the listed conglomerate said it “will defer the processing of the registration statement and the issuance and listing of the commercial papers until such time that conditions stabilize.”

It also asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “hold off on further action in connection with the registration statement of the company.”

Last February 6, SMC filed for the shelf registration of P60 billion commercial papers with the SEC. The commercial papers received the highest credit rating of PRS Aaa (corp). by local debt watcher Philippine Ratings Services Corp.

The company said the decision to delay the plan is primarily due to the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country. The Philippine government has put the island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 12.

“In view of the foregoing, we hereby waive the 45-day review period under Section 12.6 of the Securities and Regulation Code. We shall advise the SEC once the company decides to continue with the registration of the commercial papers program,” it said.

SMC posted flat earnings in 2019 at P48.57 billion, on the back of lower sales from its oil and food segments. Its shares at the stock exchange grew P10.50 or 14.48% to P83 each on Friday. — Denise A. Valdez