Italpinas shares surge on first day of trading

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla | Philippine Daily Inquirer

Shares of Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) surged following the real estate company’s stock trading debut amid a scant public float on Monday, riding on buoyant regional markets and favorable growth prospects in the countryside.Overall market sentiment was upbeat but some investors pocketed gains in intra-day trade, thus curbing IDC’s rise after hitting the daily price ceiling.IDC opened 50 percent higher at P5.40 a share on its inaugural trading at the PSE’s small, medium and emerging board, from an initial public offering (IPO) price of P3.60 a share.

IDC later gave up some of its gains to close at P4.22 a share, rising by 17.2 percent and giving the company a market capitalization of P797.83 million.
The company raised P207.4 million after bringing about 26 percent of its outstanding stock to public hands.

“We’re looking into areas where the big guys are not yet looking,” Romolo Valentino Nati, an Italian architect who chairs IDC, said in a press briefing.
IDC pitches “elegant architectural solutions and trademark contemporary aesthetic” while committing to environmental sustainability. It also seeks to deliver “maximum returns by seeking most promising local growth rates, such as those in hyper-prospective secondary and tertiary Philippine cities.” With a pricing point of about P1.4 million to P4 million per residential unit, the company targets the broad middle market as end-users alongside real estate investors looking for rental income.

“We’re a big country so we think like a big country,” said IDC president Jose Leviste, noting that there were underserved areas in the country which were becoming lucrative for vertical developments.

Italpinas is led by a partnership between businessman Leviste and Nati.

“Coming from Italy, I’d say that we saw something that’s happening in the Philippines. If you think of Italy, it’s not only Rome and Milan, there are several cities and communities. If you think about Philippines, you think about Metro Manila and Metro Cebu but there are several cities that lack in inventory in terms of units. It’s a big market but you have to segregate (markets),” he said.

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