Who’s in charge? High-flying stock walking on thin ice due to messy public ownership records

A favorite stock of trading-crazy, locked down Pinoys could be in for a major disaster due to its very messy public ownership record.

A Babbler said the stockholders’ data of Hot Stock (HS) was so convoluted, it was possible that unlisted shares have been traded during its shares’ dizzying rise in the past few months.

The Babbler said a stock broker (SB) was surprised to know that his company was trading more than double the listed shares declared by HS.

SB checked HS’s previous disclosures and he found huge discrepancies in the company’s authorized, issued and outstanding shares.

SB noted that HS’s majority owners have not reported any changes in their stockholdings during the period although there has been massive movements in shares held by stockbrokerage firms under the Top 100 stockholders’ list in th epast few months.

When the SB dug deeper, it was revealed that some owners used a chunk of their unlisted shares to their creditors who, in turn, use these to play in the market. The SB said it was no coincidence that HS picked up trading activity shortly after the owners released some of their shares to creditors.

The Babbler said HS’s transfer was obviously not doing its job of informing the public of any changes in ownership, especially owners with at least five percent interest in the company.

The Babbler said the Philippine Stock Exchange should make an audit of HS before this high-flying stock comes crashing back to earth.

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