Villar's AllHome stock rises in PSE debut

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Home furnishing chain AllHome Corporation debuts on the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, closing slightly higher than its listing price amid strong demand.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 10) — Home furnishing and supply chain AllHome Corporation entered the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, marking one of the biggest listings on the bourse in recent years.

The Villar-owned firm debuted as a listed firm and raised about ₱12.9 billion as it sold 1.125 billion shares to the public under the trading symbol HOME.

In submitting its application for listing, AllHome said the fresh funding will support capital expenses, store expansions, and debt payment.

The 6-year-old firm sells home construction items, furniture, fixtures and home decor. It operates 27 stores nationwide, and is eyeing 18 more branches by December and 25 more by 2020.

AllHome shares opened strong at ₱11.62 apiece, higher than the company's ₱11.50 listing price. It stood flat by noon and touched a low of ₱11.42 but went on to decline later in the day. Shares at AllHome ended the session slightly higher at ₱11.56 each.

The benchmark PSE index also picked up for the day, rising by 1.09 percent to 7,765.03.

AllHome's initial public offering (IPO) was originally set at ₱16 apiece, but was scaled down prior to the listing date. This is the second IPO listing on the PSE main board for the year, following the debut of coconut exporter Axelum Resources Corporation (AXLM) on Tuesday. Axelum raised ₱4 billion by going public, but saw the share value settle below its ₱5 listing price.

Nisha Alicer, chief equity strategist at DA Market Securities, said both IPOs "come at a weak time in the market."

"To me AXLM seems more interesting given industry prospects and the use of proceeds for expansion plans; meanwhile HOME is largely debt repayment," Alicer told CNN Philippines.

On the other hand, AB Capital Securities trader Sarah Santos said there was demand for AllHome shares, noting that there was appetite even during the pre-debut take-up. She added that excluding blocksale, 44 percent of total market volume on Thursday was due to the Villar-led company.

Santos, however, said that the midday decline likely reflects an overall rocky market sentiment.

"During the past few weeks and even months, we have been experiencing huge volatility. Another factor would also be [that] short-term traders are looking to lock in their quick gain," she said.

Four other companies have applied for IPOs until December, ending a listing drought on the main board since early 2018.