Lopez encourages SMEs to take the road to IPO

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has encouraged the well-established small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take the road to listing in the local stock market to accelerate growth.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

“Now that the IPO listing rules are less restrictive for SMEs, the DTI joins the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission in encouraging our small and medium enterprises to take the Road to IPO because it is the road toward accelerated growth,” said Lopez in a keynote speech at The Road to IPO: SME Forum.

For the well-established SMEs, Lopez said, it is a great alternative to be able to raise funds for new projects, market expansion, diversification, innovations, technological upgrades, debt repayment, among others.

He explained that conducting an initial public offering provides access to long-term capital and an excellent means of continuing to provide employment for many Filipinos while under a pandemic.

Aside from capital raising, he told SMEs that having an enterprise listed will boost a brand’s image and credibility to the public and to the global landscape, making it more attractive to prospective new investors and ventures.

“As you go through the process and discipline of enhancing your company’s accountability and transparency, you achieve the first steps toward expansion and success,” he added.

The trade chief, who has always been advocating for mindset change among entrepreneurs, has urged SMEs to tap the assistance of DTI through its various programs such as the Negosyo Center seminars and the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program.

“ It is this change in mindset that will encourage every one of us to think long-term and consider the advantages of IPO listing. You will begin thinking about enhanced corporate governance, social responsibility, sustainability, maintaining accountability to investors, and stock option plans for your employees. In other words, your horizons will expand considerably,” he said.

Lopez gladly reported that four IPOs have emerged last year in the midst of the crisis adding that the restrictions have pushed many enterprises to level up, undergo digital transformation and adapt to the ecommerce platform in order to thrive.

“Consider this therefore as the beginning of a long journey towards expansion, growth, and sustained impact on your clients, employees, and other stakeholders,” he added.