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MerryMart up 50% in market debut

MerryMart Consumer Corp. was welcomed by investors during its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, with shares hitting the daily price ceiling during the session.

MerryMart shares closed Monday at P1.50, up by 50 centavos or equivalent to an increase of 50% -- the daily price ceiling -- from its initial public offering price of P1.00 apiece.

The company effectively raised P1.6 billion from its listing on the small, medium, and emerging (SME) board, which was taken up by local investors even with the coronavirus pandemic.

"This IPO of MerryMart, done during this global pandemic is far better than any kind of survey, because this is a real thermometer of the underlying state of our economy," Edgar "Injap" Sia, chief executive officer at MerryMart, said during the listing ceremony streamed online.

As of Sunday, June 14, the Philippines has so far registered a total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of 25,930. This includes 5,954 recoveries and 1,088 deaths.

MerryMart is the first company to go public so far this year, primarily engaged in the operation of retail stores in the supermarket and household essentials category.

It currently owns and operates MerryMart branches nationwide, with an aggregate selling price of 9.331 square meters.

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Injap Investments Inc., which also owns 35% of DoubleDragon Properties Corp.

The listing ceremony was also attended by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who said that the success of the IPO shows the positive prospects of the Philippine economy.

"This initial public offering signals trust in our good economic prospects. It shares in the optimism that, notwithstanding the global downturn engulfing us today, the Philippine economy has the fundamentals to rise quickly from the devastation wrought by the pandemic," he said.

For his part, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said given the performance on Monday, investors are optimistic looking ahead.

"Since it closed higher than listing, the market has much higher expectations moving forward," he said in a separate mobile message.—AOL, GMA News