PT&T willing to pay any penalty imposed by PSE

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THE Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) on Tuesday said it is willing to settle any remaining penalties the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) may impose, as well as comply with the requirements that may pave the way for the lifting of its trading suspension.

“We paid what we were aware of as of Aug. 31, and if there are additional penalties we will settle those as well to comply. We wish to cooperate with the PSE and have the fervent desire to resume trading on our shares,” the telecommunications company said in a statement.

On Monday, the PSE issued a statement, saying it is evaluating PT&T’s repeated violation of disclosure requirements to see if this may be grounds for its removal from the roster of listed companies.

“It seems that the Exchange’s disclosure rules were blatantly disregarded by PT&T,” PSE president and chief executive officer Ramon S. Monzon said in the statement. The bourse operator said PT&T has not submitted its compliant structured reports since trading of its shares was suspended in 2004, and its material information disclosures were not submitted on time.

PT&T said it only received on Sept. 3 the PSE’s letter detailing additional fines totaling P3.8 million from violations made between 2011 to 2018.

The company had assumed it had already settled the case with the PSE after it paid on Aug. 31 the P635,000 penalties it was initially charged with.

“There has been some confusion/miscommunication but we will work closely and cooperate to the end with the PSE for the lifting of suspension. We wanted to inform our shareholders that PT&T is doing its utmost to comply with the requirements to lift the suspension to protect and pursue their interests,” the company added.

PT&T chief operations officer Miguel Marco A. Bitanga told BusinessWorld in a text message that company president James G. Velasquez is seeking a meeting with the PSE to discuss any additional penalties.

“It is in our best interest to settle all remaining penalties immediately, and now are seeking to confirm both the final amount and list of penalties with this objective,” he said.

PT&T also reiterated its call to be allowed to resume the trading of its shares, saying it “has the underlying assets and existing business to support its shares as well as competent management team and positive growth outlook.”

PT&T is one of the telco companies planning to participate in the government’s bid for a so-called “third telco” player. — Denise A. Valdez