EAST ZONE water concessionaire Manila Water Co., Inc. has received approval to increase its authorized capital stock to P4.4 billion after amendments to its articles of incorporation were cleared by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the Ayala-led water provider also announced the SEC’s approval to increase its carved-out shares to 900 million unissued common shares, which are reserved for cash, properties, or assets to carry out its business as approved by the company’s board of directors.

“The proposed amendment to the Seventh Article of the Articles of Incorporation will give more flexibility to the company in raising capital through the issuance of additional shares,” Manila Water said in the disclosure.

The company’s new authorized capital stock, which was one of the items changed in the seventh article of the articles of incorporation, is P900 million higher compared with its previous capitalization of P3.5 billion.

Further, Manila Water also changed its common shares to 4 billion with a par value of P1 each, from the previous 3.1 billion at a value of P1 each.

Another change that secured the SEC’s approval was the amendment of Manila Water’s second article, with the inclusion of the phrase “including investing, owning, or holding interests in similar businesses, and to provide assistance, funding and guarantees and suretyships to subsidiaries, affiliates or any entity in which the corporation has lawful interest.”

“The rationale for the amendment is to expressly include the authority to enter into contracts of guarantee and/or suretyships,” Manila Water said.

The water concessionaire recently reported a 1% climb in its net income during the first half of the year to P2.48 billion despite weak performances from its subsidiaries. Revenues rose 3% to P10.88 billion compared with P10.53 billion a year ago.

On Monday, shares in Manila Water in the stock exchange fell 0.74% or P0.10 to close at P13.50 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave