Unusual Price Movements in the Philippine Stock Market: What’s Going On, General?

Unusual Price Movements in the Philippine Stock Market

This week, we are seeing a barrage of corporate disclosures on unusual price movements in the stock market.

On Monday, January 18, 2021, the Capital Markets Integrity Corporation (CIMC) issued unusual-price-movement inquiries to Pacifica Holdings, Inc. (ticker symbol: PA), Oriental Petroleum and Minerals Corporation (OPM and OPMB), and Abra Mining and Industrial Corporation (AR).

CIMC is the spin-off of the Market Regulation Division of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE). It is a self-regulatory organization mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to maintain the integrity of the stock market. CIMC ensures the adherence of brokers and listed companies to the Securities Regulation Code and other relevant rules and regulations.

First to reply was Pacifica Holdings, which said that “PA is not aware of any undisclosed material information that could have triggered the unusual price movement in the trading of its shares.”

Next was Oriental Petroleum, with a statement saying that “OPMC is not aware of any undisclosed information that could have triggered the unusual price movement of the OPM and OPMB shares.”

Abra Mining followed suit: “We regret to inform you that we are unaware of information and as such we cannot speculate as to the reason or reasons for such increase. There is no undisclosed information that will explain the unusual movement.”

The next day, January 19, 2021, six unusual-price-movement disclosures came in one after another, of course, after the egging on by the CIMC. This time, four were new ones while two were again from Abra Mining and Oriental Petroleum.

The four new unusual-price-movement disclosures were from Manila Mining Corporation (MA and MAB), AbaCore Capital Holdings, Inc. (ABA), The Philodrill Corporation (OV), and United Paragon Mining Corporation (UPM). All of them, except Philodrill, said they were not aware of information that could have affected the price movement of their shares.

Philodrill said that the unusual price movement could be due to their January 18, 2021 disclosure regarding its assignment as Operator of Onshore Mindoro block SC53 and the increase in their participating interest in the block. “We note that the disclosure was picked up by media and reported online which could have triggered an interest in OV shares that resulted to (sic) the unusual price movement,” Philodrill explained.

Yesterday, January 20, 2021, Altus Property Ventures, Inc. (APVI) joined Oriental Petroleum and Manila Mining in filing unusual-price-movement disclosures. All three companies denied knowledge of information that could have affected the share prices of their stocks.

So, what’s going on, general? Is the stock market degenerating into a beto-beto game? (The term when you are poor.) Or is it turning into a casino? (The term when you are rich.)

Newbies beware: don’t get into speculative stocks. It is the best way to lose money in the stock market.

I once heard a saying that goes something like this: January is the worst month for speculation. Next is October, then April, August, February, November, March, June, December, May, July, and finally, September.